Bologna Warriors secure their first win of Italian season at home against Lazio Ducks

After a convincing loss to Milano Rhino’s last week  in Italy’s Division 1, the Bologna Warriors looked to bounce back against the Lazio Ducks and secure their first win.

The Warriors received the opening kick-off and quickly gave the Ducks a heavy dose of RB Maxym Berezan (#40) and an aerial attack led by QB Nick Rooney (#4) gobbling up yards play after play. But a great defensive goal-line stand by the Ducks forced a short field goal to make it 3 – 0 Warriors.

The following two possessions saw turnovers from both sides until a 60-yard bomb from Ducks QB Luke Casey (#8), to former NFL receiver Matt Hazel (#4), took the Ducks ahead 7 – 3.

The next drive Rooney took full advantage of all his Italian receivers, slinging the ball all over the field and topped it off the with a 20-yard fade into the back of the end-zone to Mattia Parlangeli (#89). Parlangeli was proving to be a thorn in the side of the Ducks defense and a Rooney favorite as he pulled in a one handed grab the next drive to make it 17 – 10 Warriors.

Warriors WR Jonathan Cerullo Uyi #1 avoiding a tackle Photo: Andrea Donati

After a few back and forths, the Warriors were able to get another score on the board in the way of a 35-yard field-goal from receiver turned kicker Matteo Zanetti (#85) to bring the Warriors two scores clear, 20 – 10.

Then just before the half, Casey decided to make things a little more exciting with another 70-yard bomb to Hazel bringing the score to 20 – 14 Warriors going in at the half.

Lazio was to receive the ball coming out into the second half and determined to not let the game get away from them. On the first drive Casey led the team down the field capping it off with a 20-yard slant to Hazel to take the Ducks back on top 21 – 20.

On the very next drive, Bologna did exactly the same with Rooney punching it in via a corner route to Zanetti (#85) in back of the endzone – a successful two-point conversion brought the score to 28 – 21 Warriors.

The game seemed to hinge on the next Ducks play which was a screen to Thomas Aliernini (#2). Despite a great individual effort by Aliernini, who went 50 yards, an unfortunate stumble caused the ball to pop loose, which was then recovered by Warriors.

Ducks RB Thomas Aliernini Photo: Andrea Donati

This is where the game started to get away from the Ducks with the next two Warrior drives ending with touchdowns, with Berezan totaling nearly the entire length of the field on two drives, to bring the score to 42 – 21.

Casey tried to close the gap on the following drive, running the ball in from a read-option, but by this point the game was beyond their reach.

The game finished 42 – 27 Warriors.

Both teams have tough games ahead with the Warriors facing off against the defending champion Seaman this coming Saturday while Lazio travels to face a strong Milano Rhinos squad. With a shortened season this year, every win and loss will count.

All photos: Andreadonati.it

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who has worked in B2B journalism and comms in the third sector; with experience in both education and human rights. He has played football for the London Warriors for the last 15 years as well as the