Sunday, June 24, 2018

Italian DI Semi-Final American Football Playoff Game


Saturday, 23 June, 2018

We were in a definite need for an American football fix after watching a lot of World Cup action again today.

Only one place to satisfy our needs today, and that was in nearby Milano at the . . . .

. . . Italian DI Semi-Final Game

It was a match-up that featured two of our good Europe Warriors coaches as the Head Coaches of the two teams playing this evening.

Europe Warriors A.D. and Defensive Line Coach Bart Iaccarino was leading his #4 seeded, 6-5 Lazio Ducks from Rome into a tough battle to be sure.

The Ducks' opponent tonight was Europe Warriors Defensive Coordinator Mike Wood's #1 seeded, 10-0 Milano Seamen who have won three of the past four Italian Super Bowls.

The Tale of the Tape
for the two DI Semi-Final Games

The #2 seeded, 8-2 Parma Panthers will host the #3 seeded, 9-2 Bolzano Giants in the other DI Semi-Final game on Sunday.

Once we got to the Seamen's stadium, we found a fully stocked souvenir stand.

We looked but did not buy

Captain Jack Sparrow was at the game!

He's a Seamen fan naturally

 Let the Game Begin!

The Seamen's opening TD drive was impressive.

Throughout the First Half the
undermanned Ducks showed a lot
of courage against a simply better team

It must be noted that the Ducks are a first year franchise and what they have done so far in their inaugural campaign reflects greatly on their coaching staff's ability to prepare the team for big games like this one.

At halftime, I ran into this fellow . . .

. . . sporting a #12 Jordan La Secla jersey

Jordan was the Seamen's QB a few years ago and apparently still has at least one fan in Milano.

Jordan played his college football at San Jose State and he was a standout prep QB at Newbury Park H.S. where our son Michael teaches.

Back in 2005, our eventual playoff Semi-Finalist Rio Mesa H.S. team played against La Secla's NPHS Panthers. It was a night that I will long remember but would rather forget. He was something like 21 for 22 passing that night! The one incomplete was a dropped pass.

We lost that non-conference game on a hot September night at Newbury Park. Sometimes you just have to applaud as the parade marches by.

American football really is a small world!

The only fully functioning scoreboard
in all of Europe as far as I know

The Seamen took control of the game
in the Third Quarter

 Their QB play was outstanding

The Seamen are going to the Super Bowl
in Parma on July 7th!

A perfectly executed Fourth Quarter Iso play resulted an 88 yard TD run for the Seamen. That was followed by about a 60 yard Pick-Six to seal the deal.

The Seamen are a talented, well coached team that looked much better tonight than when I saw them play in the Milano Derby Game vs. the Rhinos a few months ago.

As for the Ducks, lots of heart, good coaching but in need of a few more quality players to compete against a club like the Seamen.

The 11-0 Seamen now await the winner of the other Semi-Final game on Sunday to face either the 9-2 Parma Panthers or the 9-2 Bolzano Giants in the DI Super Bowl in two weeks.

With Seamen HC Mike Wood

Seamen celebrating in
"The Replacements"
style after their big win

Captain Jack Sparrow was
strutting after his team won

With Seamen #2 QB Riccardo Crosta
a former Skorpion

We had said hello to Bart before the game but could not find him afterwards. He is a great coach who's club ran into a buzzsaw tonight.

In the Italian DII Semi-Finals tonight . . .

A MAJOR upset and a surprising score

The #1 seeded, 9-1 Padova Saints got thrashed by the #5 seeded, 10-1 Roma Pretoriani by a final tally of 28-3.

The #2 seeded, 10-0 Bologna Warriors beat the #3 seeded, 9-1 Busto Arsizio Blue Storms 26-3. I thought that this would be a closer game. The Blue Storms were the Group C Champions, the Group that includes the Skorpions.

The DII Championship game will also take place in Parma on July 7th with the #2 seeded, 10-0 Bologna Warriors taking on the #5 seeded, 10-1 Roma Pretoriani.

On to the Italian DIII playoffs . . .

CATANIA WINS!

In DIII, nine-man football, our old club from Sicily, the Catania Elephants, prevailed in the Southern Conference Championship game!

This victory moves the 8-2 Elephants to the DIII title game, again in Parma on July 7th, against the winner of Sunday's Northern Conference Championship Game between the 8-0 Imola Ravens and the 8-0 Venezia Islanders.

If you love American football Italian style, then Parma is the place you want to be on July 7th.

I'll be home in California celebrating my 71st birthday on July 7th.

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