The Swarco Raiders spoiled the party for Italy’s Milano Seamen fans Saturday night in a lightning-delayed game in Milan, Italy, scoring four third quarter touchdowns to roll to a 50-23 victory in Central European Football League play and clinch a spot in the Zenith CEFL Bowl XIV and earn home field advantage. The Raiders know the value of home field advantage for American football.
It was the brothers Platzgummer show for the Raiders as RB Sandro Platzgummer scored four touchdowns while WR Adrian Platzgummer scored two more with Fabian Abfalter adding one while kicking a field goal and five extra points.
Raiders QB Sean Shelton was again superb throwing three touchdown passes.
For the Seamen, Luke Zahradka tossed two touchdown passes and caught the third. Xavier Mitchell and Danilo Bonaparte scored the other two touchdowns for Milano.
After Abfalter opened the scoring with a field goal, Milano grabbed a 7-3 lead as Zahradka hauled in a touchdown pass from WR Ismail Lamamra on a reverse play.
That lead was short lived though as on the Raiders very next play from scrimmage, Sandro Platzgummer caught a screen pass, broke a tackle and raced 53 yards to give the Raiders back the lead, 10-7.
With the Milano offense struggling, Shelton then found Abfalter in full stride on the next Swarco possession and the wideout took it all the way 70 yards to up the lead to 16-7.
Again Zahradka could not get the Seamen’s offense untracked and Swarco made them pay. Two plays later Sandro finds a big hole courtesy of his offensive line and scampers 47 yards to increase the lead to 23-7 late in the first half.
The Seamen’s defense finally got a stop and with a minute remaining in the second quarter, Zahradka, from the shadows of his own goal posts, hits Filippo Fiammenghi for a long pass. Then he connects with Xavier Mitchell for a 26 yard touchdown and Stefano Di Tunisi adds the two-point conversion and suddenly Milano were back in the ball game, trailing just 23-15 at the half.
The Raiders simply kicked into another gear in the third quarter
A bad punt by the Seamen gave Shelton and the Raiders offense the ball at the 36 yard line and two plays later Sandro Platzgummer barged through a gap and galloped 23 yards to extend the lead to 30-15.
Bonaparte bobbled the ensuing kickoff and the Raiders stripped the ball away, recovering it on the Milano nine yard line. On the next play, Shelton zipped the ball to the other Platzgummer, Adrian, in the end zone and the score was suddenly 37-15.
Another Milano punt returned the ball to the Raiders in good field position. Sandro Pltazgummer made no mistake breaking tackles and racing 37 yards to widen the gap even further, to 43-15.
Still in the third quarter, Swarco got the ball back at the 50 yard line after another Milano punt and this time Adrian is wide open and Shelton connects with him for Swarco’s final touchdown to up the lead to 50-15.
Zahradka made the score more respectable two possessions later as he hit Bonaparte on a wheel route for a touchdown to make the final score 50-23.
This was the Raiders second win in the CEFL’s Western Conference advancing them to the Xenith CEFL Bowl XIV.
The Seamen will play for second place in the conference when they travel to meet France’s Thonon Black Panthers May 25.