Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Tough Game Against a Quality Opponent

Saturday, 6 April, 2019

Today marked the midway point of our Varese Skorpions eight game regular season . . .

. . . it was GAME DAY in
Cernusco Sul Naviglio!

The experts all agreed, it figured to be a tough game!

The experts were correct.

Varese Skorpions
2 Wins -1 Loss
Beat the Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (0-3) 7-6
Lost to the Milano Rhinos (2-0) 24-10
Beat the Palermo Sharks (1-2) 28-21

Cernusco Daemons
2 Wins - 1 Loss
Beat the Canavese Mastifs (0-2) 42-0
Beat the Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (0-3) 24-9
Lost to the Milano Rhinos (2-0) 30-7

The game did not kickoff until 9:00 p.m., would end just after midnight and I didn't get back to the Villa Skorpion II until just after 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Thus, our game day photos from our team photographers have not yet been posted as I write this post. I'll be sure to include them as soon as they are posted on our Skorpions Facebook page.
The Daemons field was bare but
the dirt was firm, not muddy, from
the recent rains

There would be a sparse crowd tonight
due to both the raw weather and the
9:00 p.m. starting time I suspect

 The Daemons HUGE team banner
was ready to hit the field running

 The concessions stand was just
setting ups when we arrived

A lonely Skorpion enjoying a
pre-game smoke outside our
locker room hallway
 There is that banner and
here come the Daemons

Skorpions Ball: Thanks to some great runs by Dylan Auriema and a screen pass from Giacomo Michelli to Matteo Mozzanica, the Skorpions picked up four first downs on this opening drive before turning the ball over on downs. Our normal holder for Field Goals had to work tonight and our back-up holder was a bit shaky. This all came into my decision to go for it on fourth down.

Daemons Ball: The normally pass-happy Cernusco squad came out on fire doing a fine job of mixing the run and the pass. A three yard Sweep play resulted in the game's first TD. The PAT was good and the Daemons had the early 7-0 lead.

Skorpions Ball: The Skorpions were driving as the First Quarter came to a quick end due to a lot of run plays and few incomplete passes. After 12 minutes, the Cernusco Daemons led 7-0.

Varese Ball: The highlight of this drive that started in the First Quarter was a big Post route by Martino Piazzi from Giacomo Micheli vs. a Cover Zero look. Eventually, the Skorpions were forced to punt.

Cernusco Ball: The Skorpions Defense came up with their first Three & Out, Punt of the night.

Varese Ball: The Skorpions executed a fine drive on this possession that included the tough running of Dylan Auriema and key passes from Giacomo (Jack) Micheli to Riccardo de Micheli who I believe, based on the last name, is Jack's son. I could be wrong. Our drive stalled and this time we opted for a Field Goal. Our rookie holder fumbled the snap, called "FIRE!", and the adventure began. Besides the usual Fire call patterns by our two TEs and two WBs, our Kicker runs a Swing route. Our holder threw the ball to our kicker, Stefano Granelli who sprinted around the left end for 12 yards and a key first down to keep the drive alive. Dylan Auriema promptly scored our first TD of the night on a nine yard scamper. Stefano Granelli added the PAT and the score was tied at seven all.

Cernusco Ball: After Granelli's kick sailed into the end zone, on the Daemons first play, DE Davide Vuolo forced a QB Sack/Fumble which LB Ivan "Swito" Raso recovered at the 16 yard line. BIG PLAY!

Varese Ball: The Skorpions wasted no time as on our first play the Micheli to da Micheli connection found pay-dirt on an OUTSTANDING diving catch for a 16 yard TD by Riccardo. Granelli's PAT was true again and the Skorpions had broken out to a 14-7 lead.

Here is Riccardo da Micheli's TD Catch,
how do you like it?

Cernusco Ball: The Skorpions Defense came up with our second Three & Out, Punt of the night.

Varese Ball: With just a little more than one minute left in the half, the Skorpions ran out the clock to end the First Half leading 14-7.

Daemons Ball: The Daemons moved the ball but this drive ended on a fourth down stop by the Skorpions Defense.

Skorpions Ball: The Offense came up with a good mixture of successful Micheli passes and Auriema runs but could not convert on a fourth down play deep in Daemons territory.

Daemons Ball: We allowed a big third and 15 conversion on a scramble and then the Cernusco team started to pound the ball at us with success. They would score on a two yard QB sneak and add the PAT to tie the game at 14-14.

Skorpions Ball: Another solid drive that once again featured Auriema running the ball and Micheli's passing skills was in progress as the Third Quarter ended with the score tied at 14-14.

Varese Ball: The Skorpions drive that started in the Third Quarter continued but eventually the drive ended with a fourth down stop by the Daemons Defense.

Cernusco Ball: The Skorpion Defense came up with our third Three & Out, Punt of the night. On said punt, the snap was not a good one allowing unlikely hero Giulio Bonfanti the opportunity to block the Daemons punt, BIG PLAY!

Varese Ball: We had a golden opportunity, starting the drive at the Daemons 28 yard line but the Cernusco Defense rose to the occasion and after three unsuccessful plays, we attempted a 42 yard Field Goal that went wide.

Cernusco Ball: A solid drive based on a suddenly potent Daemons ground game resulted in an unsuccessful Field Goal  attempt as well.

Varese Ball: We were intercepted on third down deep in our end of the field.

Cernusco Ball: Our Defense did a good job again in forcing the Daemons to settle for another Field Goal attempt that sailed wide right.

Varese Ball: We hit a big pass on first down from Micheli to Matteo Mozzanica but with just a few seconds left and too far away for a Hail Mary pass we took a knee as the Fourth Quarter ended with the score still tied at 14-14. We were headed to . . .

Skorpions Ball: Using NCAA Overtime rules, we started our drive at the 25 yard line. We were unable to get a first down, so we tried another Field Goal which hit the left upright and bounced back onto the field of play.

Daemons Ball: A shovel pass and some runs got the ball down to the eight yard line where a simple run up the middle broke wide open and the Daemons RB cruised into the end zone untouched to win the game for the home team. The Final Score was . . .

A Tough Loss in a game that was
hard fought by both clubs

As one would suspect, we did a lot of good things in this game despite the loss.

Our Offense which was non-existent in Game One, is coming to life under the calm, cerebral leadership of our Offensive Coordinator Omar Passera.

Our Defense made several key plays throughout the day and did a great job slowing down what the Daemons had been doing best all season, throwing the ball.

Our Kicking Game also came up with some big plays, especially the blocked punt.

We'll need a good week of practice before taking on the 2-1 Desio Hammers in another tough game next Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at Skorpion Field.

Here are our Group's standings after Saturday's games with no games scheduled for Sunday:

1. Milano Rhinos 3-0
2t. Brescia Bengals 3-1
2t. Cernusco Daemons 3-1
4. Desio Hammers 2-1
5. Varese Skorpions 2-2
6t. Palermo Sharks 1-2
6t. Varese Gorillas 1-2
7. Canavese Mastifs 0-2
8. Busto Arsizio Blue Storms 0-4

It was a disappointing night but still . . .

It's GREAT to be a Skorpion!

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