Sunday, April 29, 2018

Varese Derby Part II

Saturday, 28 April, 2018

All of the citizens of Varese awoke today excited because it was . . .

. . . and not just any Game day,
it was time for the season's second

That's right, the Skorpions and the Gorillas meeting for bragging rights to the greater Varese megalopolis for the next ten months.

Throw the records and our 21-12 season opening win over the Gorillas in February out the window, it was Rivalry Week!

Speaking of our records . . .

0 Wins - 4 Losses
DII Group C - Fourth Place
Lost to the Varese Skorpions (3-2) 12-21
Lost to the Cagliari Crusaders (1-4) 0-16
Lost to the Sant'Agata Knights (1-4) 20-43
Lost to the Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0) 6-40

3 Wins - 2 Losses
DII Group C - Second Place
Beat the Varese Gorillas (0-4) 21-12
Lost to the Busto Arsizio Blue Storms 0-16
Beat the Sant'Agata Knights (1-4) 25-18
Lost to the Sarzana Red Jackets (2-3) 16-44
Beat the Cagliari Crusaders (1-4) 34-14

When we arrived at Skorpion Field
our U13 Flag team's practice was
in full swing

Reviewing a few Kicking Game
adjustments before the game

One of our key Special Teams players was a last minute scratch from the Derby necessitating a couple of changes in our lineup.

Offensive Line Coach Leo Pozzato,
Offensive Coordinator Gigi Bravin
going over a few last minute reminders
with RB Dylan Auriemma looking on

Time to Warm Up

 Gigi explaining the minute details
of his first call of the game


A few last second Words of Wisdom

 Final Kickoff Return team reminders

Skorpion Ball: Dylan Auriemma returned the opening kickoff 56 yards to the Gorillas' 26 yard line to set the Skorpions offense up in great field position. A few plays later, Auriemma would cap the game's opening drive with a nifty 12 yard TD scamper. Stefano Granelli's PAT kick was true and the Skorpions led early 7-0.

Gorillas Ball: The other team from Varese did a good job of mixing up the run and the pass on their opening drive but would eventually turn the ball over on downs at our 21 yard line.

Skorpions Ball: Thanks to a good reception by TE Pietro Limido, the Skorpions kept a drive alive. QB Omar Passera did the honors himself on an explosive 60 yard TD run. Once again Granelli's kick was good, it was now all Skorpions 14-0.

Gorillas Ball: Our Kickoff team covered well smothering the Gorillas return man at his 22 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, NG Andrea Gorini recovered a Gorillas fumble at the Gorillas 19 yard line.

Skorpions Ball: We blew a great opportunity on this drive that ended with a partially tipped Field Goal attempt that hobbled into the end zone.

Gorillas Ball: CB Kristian Basso picked off a Gorillas pass and cruised 29 yards to pay dirt for another six Skorpion points. A high snap from our backup long snapper forced a Fire Call which our Holder/QB Gianluca Arena quickly turned into two more Skorpions points with a pass to Limido. The tally was now 22-0 in favor of the Skorpions.

Gorillas Ball: Two things started on this drive that would last for the rest of the game. First, the Skorpions defense would put a physical beating on the Gorillas with numerous QB sacks like the one that SS Nicolas Principi got early in this drive. The second factor was that the referees started to throw flags, lots of flags, the rest of the game. The First Quarter ended wit the Skorpions in charge 22-0.

Dylan Auriemma takes the opening
Kickoff 56 yards
 Go Dylan GO!

And a big thumbs up to you as well
WR Matteo Mozzanica

 Dylan Auriemma's 12 yard TD run

 The Skorpions Defense
swarming to the ball

Action in the Pit

NG Andrea Gorini with a Head Lock

DE Nikko Moruzzi with
a Tackle for Loss

TE Pietro Limido is . . .

. . . on the loose

QB Omar Passera

A winner, I'll take him as our QB any time, any place.

 Davide Betto with a catch

Gorillas Ball: Their drive that started in the First Quarter would eat up an amazing first ten minutes of this period. This was due to great Skorpions defense getting QB Sacks and Tackles for Loss on first and second downs only to be outdone on third down by some sort of automatic first down penalty on third down. We would be called for over 100 yards in penalties in the First Half alone. This drive finally stalled out on downs at our 18 yard line.

Skorpions Ball: Consecutive Late Hit (good call), Offensive Pass Interference (poor call) and Illegal Man Downfield (good call) penalties ended any hope for this drive as the First Half ended with the Skorpions leading at the intermission 22-0.

#19 QB Omar Passera exploding
60 yards for a TD

 Gorillas FUMBLE!

#87 NG Andrea Gorini
on the Fumble Recovery

That's a BIG PLAY sticker for Andrea

Goal Line set TE Stefano Granelli
knocking a Gorilla ass over tea kettle!

We will have to check the video to see if this was merely the Dying Cockroach block you see here or perhaps worthy of a more violent Hammer Hit decal.

 #7 CB Kristian Basso's 29 yard Pick-Six

#12 Holder Gianluca Arena finds . . .
#3 TE Pietro Limido for two more
Skorpion points

Gorillas Ball: Good Skorpions Kickoff coverage again started the Gorillas first drive of the new half on their own 25 yard line. The Skorpions Defense, refreshed from the intermission, forced the games first Tree and Out, Punt.

Skorpions Ball: We ran the ball well but would turn the ball over on downs at the Gorillas 32 yard line.

Gorillas Ball: A couple of more big QB sacks were negated by a 25 yard, 3rd down sweep by the Gorillas as the quick, run oriented Third Quarter came to a halt with the score unchanged, Skorpions 22 - Gorillas 0.

Lots of Skorpions
swarming to the ball

 #21 Nicolas Principi

LOTS of Skorpions on yet
another QB SACK!

Here come #30 SS Giulio Bonfanti
and DE #3 Pietro Limido to the rescue

HANG ON Giulio!

Pursuit to the Gorillas sweep play

We definitely lost contain on this play.

Another QB Sack by
SS Nicolas Principi or was it . . .

. . . #56 LB Christian Munoz's Sack?

#4 RB Alessandro Brovelli turning
the corner on the Gorillas defense

A good catch and run by
#13 WR Martino Piazzi

Gorillas Ball: The Gorillas Third Quarter ending drive continued aided by another two 15 yard penalties by our club. Finally the Gorillas disrupted the potentially Fascist shutout with a 12 yard TD run. Their PAT was good and the Skorpions lead was down to 22-7.

Skorpions Ball: We called for our Hands or Mani team to stem the tide of Gorillas aggression to recover their onside kick attempt. Ema Della Bosca did exactly what we coached him to do and their onside kick attempt fizzled. I enjoyed watching Wunderkind RB Alessandro Brovelli on his physical 55 yard TD run to answer the Gorillas score. Another bad snap by our backup long snapper forced another Fire Call but this time our pass fell quietly to the end zone's manicured turf. The Skorpions now led 28-7.

Gorillas Ball: Granelli boomed his Kickoff deep into the end zone but three more 15 yard penalties kept the Skorpions off balance until SS Principe came up with a key fourth down broken up pass to end the Gorillas scoring opportunity.

Skorpions Ball: All hands on deck, our backups were in the game and, nice to see, all of our starters' heads were in the game too as they rooted encouragement to their teammates. We would turn the ball over on downs deep in Gorillas territory.

Gorillas Ball: They would run a couple of non consequential plays as the clock ticked down to 0:00.


#19 QB Omar Passera

As the Fourth Quarter started and the Sun was setting, the lack of light led to some interesting, artsy photos by young Miss Laurie.

#27 RB Dylan Auriemma

#21 SS Nicolas Principi

I think that this  is
Dylan Aurriemma again . . .

. . . and again

 The Sun setting on
idyllic Skorpion Field

Post-game handshakes

Hugging Skorpions

And the Game Hammer
goes to . . .

. . . #21 SS Nicolas Principi

He has been at the forefront of every conversation for this award in our first five games but had not won it.

Tonight was his night!

What if you could coach a team
with 30 players with Nicolas Principi's
heart, attitude and desire?

Wouldn't that be a coach's dream.

Division II - Week in Review

Week #9 Results
Varese Skorpions (4-2) 28
Varese Gorillas (0-5) 7

Bologna Braves (3-3) 14
Sant'Agata Knights (1-5) 0

Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0)
Cagliari Crusaders (1-4)
Sarzana Red Jackets (2-3)

Group C Standings
1. Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0)
2. Varese Skorpions (4-2)
3. Cagliari Crusaders (1-4)
4. Varese Gorillas (0-5)

Week #10 Schedule
Saturday, May 5th:
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0)
at Cagliari Crusaders (1-4)

Sunday, May 6th:
Modena Vipers (5-0)
at Sarzana Red Jackets (2-3)

Sant'Agata Knights (1-5)
Varese Gorillas (0-5)
Varese Skorpions (4-2)

After next weekend's bye, we will travel via airplane to the enchanting island of Sardinia to play the . . .

Cagliari Crusaders again

We are down to the final quarter of the regular season with only two more games left on the 2018 schedule.

After four straight game weekends in April, May will be a bit kinder to us with a schedule that, in order, reads: a bye, at Cagliari Crusaders (1-4), another bye and a season ending contest at the tough Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0).

Our magic number to mathematically make the 2018 DII playoffs is down to ONE, i.e., one more loss by the Crusaders or one more win by the Skorpions clinches a second place finish for us and a ticket to the post-season.

The DII playoff structure is simple.

The 24 DII clubs are divided into six, four team Groups (Groups A, B, C, D, E and F).

The top two teams from each group make the 12-team playoffs.

These 12 teams are then seeded One through Twelve.

Seeds One through Four have a Playoff Opening Round bye.

Teams seeded Five through Twelve will play a Wild Card round two weeks after the conclusion of the regular season with the higher seeds getting home games.

At the end of last weekend's games the Skorpions were ranked #9 in Division II.

Stay tuned . . . 


David said...

What's the ranking system? How possible will it be that, when you clinch a playoff spot, you'll also move up enough to host a wild-card game?

George said...


Here is the link to the DII Power Rankings:

Only 12 teams make the playoffs and Seeds #1-4 have Wild Card round Byes. Thus we would have to finish with a seeding of 5, 6, 7 or 8 to host a Wild Card game. This week we dropped from #9 to #10 after our 28-7 win over the Gorillas.

We should be favored on the road vs. the Cagliari Crusaders (1-4) and be underdogs on the road vs. the Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (5-0).

I think that the only way that we would get a home Wild Card game would be to win both games and finish the regular season at 6-2. At 5-3 or 4-4, we would be traveling I'm sure.