Early favorites from Milano, Rome emerging in Italy’s 1 Divisione
As the second week of the Football Americano I Division, formerly known as the Italian Football League, wound up it is apparent that the city of Milano will be contending for the title again. Both the Rhinos and Seamen impressed and have already begun to emerge as playoff contenders.
The Milano Rhinos took the first step to defending their Italian championship by whipping the Ancona Dophins 33-7. Head coach Chris Ault has his team humming already as they dismantled a Dolphins squad on the road. This was an Ancona team that had gone undefeated in the regular season in 2016 and had been barely beaten in their playoff loss to the Bolzano Giants. Ancona had opened the season by beating Firenze Guelfi handily. The Rhinos had taken a 19-0 halftime lead and extended it to 33-0 before the Dolphins finally got on the board in the fourth quarter.
The Milano Seamen proved that their opening weekend lopsided win over the Roma Grizzlies was no fluke as they scored 28 unanswered second half points behind the arm of quarterback Luke Zahradka to down the Bergamo Lions 38-7. The Seamen’s defense played superb football as Bergamo’s lone touchdown came on a 100 yard pick six in the first half. In fact, the defense, under defensive coordinator Randy Beverly, has not allowed a touchdown as both touchdowns scored against the Seamen have been off of interceptions.
Rome’s Lazio Marines have also opened the 2017 season with a pair of wins under new head coach Juha Hakala from Finland. The five time Finnish title winning coach led his team to a 33-19 over the now winless Firenze Guelfi. His quarterback from the Helsinki Roosters, Mic Brown, who has also won titles in Poland as well as Finland, has the offense off to a good start.
The Torino Giaguari even their record at 1-1 with a 21-7 win overthe newly-promoted Pesaro UTA. With the win, Torino atoned for their 28-7 opening weekend loss to the Bolzano Giants. Pesaro had impressed the previous week against the always dangerous Parma Panthers holding them to a field goal in a 3-0 loss.
The Giants and Panthers were both idle.