Monday, May 27, 2019

DII Playoff Brackets, Women's National Flag Team Practice, a Skorpion BBQ and Even MORE Photos From the Mastifs Game

Sunday, 26 May, 2019

A busy Sunday to be sure that we'll lead off with the top news story of the day, the 2019 Italian DII American Football Playoff Brackets.

To review the generalities, there are 19 clubs competing in DII this year.

The top 12 teams, regardless of Group, at the end of the season based on FIDAF's Power Rankings make the playoffs.

The top four seeds get Wild Card round byes.

The Wild Card games will be played the weekend of June 8th and 9th.

FIDAF's Final DII Power Rankings

Our Group A wound up with the top two seeds in the playoffs with the 8-0 Milano Rhinos grabbing the top seed and the 7-1 Cernusco Daemons being awarded the #2 seed. Both of these clubs have earned byes in the Wild Card round.

The Rhinos and Daemons are the teams that handed the Skorpions our only two losses of the season.

We lost to the Rhinos in Game #2 by a score of 24-10 and the Daemons beat us 20-14 in overtime in Game #4.

 The Brackets in one form . . .

. . . and in another

The playoffs have six teams from Group A and three each from Groups B and C.

The Skorpions (6-2) are the #7 seed and our opening Wild Card round game will be a rematch at home against the #10 seeded Palermo Sharks (3-5).

We narrowly beat the Sharks in a crazy, come from way behind game back in Game #3 by a score of 28-21.

This will be a dangerous opponent for us to be sure.

What a BEAUTIFUL weekend
for American football!

Time again for our weekly update of what happened across Italia in DII American football action.

Their was a full slate of eight games
this weekend, the last weekend
of the 2019 DII regular season

Actually there were nine games this week including the Week #9 make up game last Wednesday night between the Desio Hammers and Canavese Mastifs.


Group A

Group A Week #12 Results
Canavese Mastifs (3-4) 25
Desio Hammers (2-5) 0

Varese Skorpions (6-2) 27
Canavese Mastifs (3-5) 7

Milano Rhinos (8-0) 28
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (0-8) 0

Desio Hammers (3-5) 12
Palermo Sharks (3-5) 7

Cernusco Daemons (7-1) 32
Varese Gorillas (2-6) 0

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

Group A Playoff Schedule
Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9
#10 Palermo Sharks (Group A, 3-5) at
#7 Varese Skorpions (Group A, 6-2)

#9 Ferrara Aquile (Group B, 4-4) at
#8 Brescia Bengals (Group A, 4-4)

#12 Canavese Mastifs (Group A, 3-5) at
#5 Verona Mastini (Group B, 7-1)

Wild Card Byes
#1 Milano Rhinos (8-0)
#2 Cernusco Daemons (7-1)

Season Finished
Desio Hammers (3-5)
Varese Gorillas (2-6)
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (0-8)

Group B

Group B Week #12 Results
Padova Saints (7-1) 28
Isonzo Sentinels (1-7) 27

Verona Mastini (7-1) 48
Castelfranco Cavaliers (1-7) 12

Final Group B Standings
1T. Verona Mastini 7-1
1T. Padova Saints 7-1
3. Ferrara Aquile 4-4
4T. Castelfranco Cavaliers 1-7
4T. Isonzo Sentinels 1-7 

Group B Playoff Schedule
Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9
#12 Canavese Mastifs (Group A, 3-5) at
#5 Verona Mastini (Group B, 7-1)

#11 Sarzana Red Jackets (Group C, 3-5) at
#6 Padova Saints (Group B, 7-1)

#9 Ferrara Aquile (Group B, 4-4) at
#8 Brescia Bengals (Group A, 4-4)

Season Finished
Castelfranco Cavaliers (1-7)
Isonzo Sentinels (1-7) 

Group C

Group C Week #12 Results
Reggio Emilia Hogs (7-1) 17
Modena Vipers (1-7) 0

Roma Pretoriani (7-1) 8
Bologna Braves (2-6) 0

Final Group C Standings
1T. Roma Pretoriani 7-1
1T. Reggio Emilia Hogs 7-1
3. Sarzana Red Jackets 3-5
4. Bologna Braves 2-6
5. Modena Vipers 1-7

Group C Playoff Schedule
Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9
#11 Sarzana Red Jackets (Group C, 3-5) at
#6 Padova Saints (Group B, 7-1)

Wild Card Byes
#3 Roma Pretoriani (7-1)
#4 Reggio Emilia Hogs (7-1)

Season Finished
Bologna Braves (2-6)
Modena Vipers (1-7)


At Skorpions Field today we were combining a Women's National Flag Team practice with a traditional food coma inducing Italian BBQ featuring a pig on a slow roasting spit over an open flame.

It would turn out to be a GREAT day for American football.

On many levels.

Soon after we arrived at the field, a man dressed in official Italian National team gear approached me and said "Ciao."

I did not recognize him.

Then he introduced himself and all hell broke loose.

But in a good way.

Why it was none other than former
Catania Elephants WR Salvo Persano! 

I had not seen Salvo in literally a decade when I last coached in Catania in 2009.

He is now involved in an administrative capacity with the Women's National team program.

In order to now look the part of a coach, he sports a shaved head and a graying beard like the rest of us.

It was so great to see him!

 The Women's National Team
getting ready to scrimmage

But they needed a ref, so D.J. volunteered . . .


Never wear Levis on a hot day
when refereeing

As you would expect, these ladies
play at a high level

Not sure about this
ball carrying technique

Two of our Skorpions, Tex and Marta, were competing today mostly on Defense.

 Tex in yellow on the right

 Interesting follow through
by the QB

Trying to find the Goal Line

There it is!

Again with the funky ball security

I've got my arm raised as I
am the designated pass rusher
on this play

Bunch Formation on Offense

 Trail technique pass coverage

The two nearest defenders are
Skorpions Tex and Marta

Hair flying in the corner
of the End Zone

Either signaling Fourth Down
or my solidarity with the
leftist rebels

Good running technique

 Flag Tackling Drill

Just another BEAUTIFUL day
for American football!

But, as Enzo is pointing out,
there is still a BBQ to enjoy after
the morning practice

 That pig is looking tasty

Grill Masters!

One grill is NEVER enough at a
Skorpions function

Almost done

How many men do you need to
roast a pig in Lombardia?

It looks like four to me should be about right.

The young Skorpions were starting
to get unruly waiting to eat that pig

The pig is coming off the grill!

Start carving

Let the feasting commence!

While we all overate like Americans, we found that the Skorpion snack bar had samples of the latest craze from the Esselunga Supermarkets . . .

 Skorpion LB Federico Gomiero
Action Figures doing a form tackle

Flat out AWESOME!

At the end of lunch, before the Ladies went back on the field for another scrimmage, one of them came up to me and started up a conversation.

Then she introduced herself and all hell broke loose.

But in a good way.


It was none other than
Claudia Guglielmino of the
Catania Pink Elephants!

Again, we had not seen each other in ten years but caught up quickly. Claudia is on my left with three other members of the Pink Elephants on my right.

Football, friends and grilled meats . . .

How much better could a Sunday possibly get?

Well it even got a little better on the way
home when we stopped in Malnate
to watch some Vikings baseball

Once back at the Villa Skorpion II, food coma fully induced, I got on the computer to find even more great pictures taken by our core of Skorpion photographers from yesterday's Mastifs game.

A HUGE GRAZIE to Laurie, Robby, Edvin and Benny for all that they do to enhance the Skorpions experience!

Masch and Tomas on the House

Masch returning a Kickoff

Niko, our best OL, playing some DE

An arm tackle will not stop Dylan

Swito getting the Game Hammer

Our QB and Receiving Core 
Riccardo, Mozza, Jack and Martino

Stefano and Swito waiting for
our Offenses next TD pass

 QB Jack paying attention in the
post-game huddle

Mizu running the rock

He is a bit smaller than the Mastifs RB.

DT Ceo and DL Coach Pacio

 Swarming to the ball

Swito, the proud owner of a
Game Hammer

 Lord he is BIG!

 Swito helping the refs see that
the Skorpions just made another
First Down!

 Stefano and Biondo on the tackle

Raffa is Pad Under Pad

We should have just hog tied him
when we had the chance

 Giorgio has been a great boost to
our Defense since coming back
to coach a few weeks ago

 They called a face mask penalty
on this play

Biondo with a sure tackle

Monza and Jack celebrating one
of their three TD passes
 Nali and Stefano
both look like they could use
a post-game smoke

Masch on his Second Half
tone setting Kickoff Return

OG Capo making a possible TD
saving tackle on an interception

 Davide, Raffa, Ceo and Tomas
working their way to the ball

Mozza for SIX!

OK, I think they are going to run the ball

Mora being the Man

The Offensive Line and their QB

Dylan finishing a run violently


Swito listening intently to Dani

Freccia going all out on the House

Freccia again being fearless

More of Masch's Kickoff Return

The Scorpion of the Day

Lower your pads Baffo!

Good leverage by both Raffa and Ceo

Raffa had his best game in the two years I've been with the Skorpions.

Ceo just goes about his work quietly and efficiently every game, he has been a wonderful addition to the Skorpions this year.

 Dylan flying along the sidelines

I just love these shots of the

 Great catch for an apparent two points
but an illegal formation penalty
nullified this fine catch

 Niko and Nali are the veteran
right side of our Offensive Line

Joy on the sideline as we start
pulling away in the Second Half

 Davide on the tackle with
Masch bringing support

Il Nino now in at QB
about to get launched

Jack thinking that it could have
been him getting launched

A fine catch by Martino

 Still running to the football late
in the game

Ceo manages a Tattoo Parlor
in Monza when he is not menacing
QBs and RBs

Guard  Nali and Center Capo
did lots off good things Saturday

Masch threw his body into the House
several times in the game to bring him


Another Line-of-Scrimmage photo

Diving, reaching for a First Down

Swito is pad under pad taking
umbrage with something their TE
did or said it appears

 Jack making something out of nothing

What an incredible season he is having!

 Defensive Pride in a job well done
today against a physical
machine of a team

Same group, different view

It helps to have these ladies on our
side rooting us on to VICTORY!

Laurie and I both
LOVE the Skorpion Life!


David said...

It strikes me as kind of strange that you have the potential for two rematches in your first two playoff games. Doesn't it make more sense to get teams from the different groups as much as possible?

Also, I'm going with leftist solidarity in the one photo, given your well-known Communist sympathies.

George said...

I agree that part of the fun/challenge at playoff time is facing new teams but FIDAF stated from the beginning that it would be the top 12 teams regardless go Group seeded based on their Power Ranking system. No complaints here, we'll play hard I know every time we take the field.