Italy: Week 3 produced more dark horse candidates

With the two powerhouses of Italian football, the Parma Panthers and Milano Seamen, on bye weeks, week 3 presented some opportunities for the rest of the Italian Football League to assert themselves.

Ancona Dolphins (2-0) 34 – Milano Rhinos (0-2) 3


After a disappointing season last year, Ancona returning quarterback Colin Di Galbo has begun to assert himself as one of the more dangerous signal callers in the league. The young American-Italian QB went to work from the first quarter, throwing for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Rhinos, picking up another 53 yards and one touchdown with his legs.

Milano had no answer offensively. After a solid performance by quarterback Daniel Santacaterina in week 1, against the Dolphins he managed just 83 yards and four interceptions.

Despite playing against two teams in the bottom half of the league, the Dolphins have looked dominant in both. A defense that can consistently take the ball away, and a dual-threat quarterback will undoubtedly begin to turn some heads in the rest of the league.

Verona Mastini (1-0) 23 – Modena Vipers (0-1) 16

Photo: @Inna Berezanskaya

The IFL saw two of its two most recent additions in the Modena Vipers and Verona Mastini battle it out this week in a throwback from the 2021 Italian Division 2 season. 

Verona, seeing their first action in the top league, were unable to get much going in the first half and trailed coming into the third quarter. But put up 17 points after a change at quarterback in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

The Mastini played a patient game, executing admirably in all phases of the game. But if they wish to compete with some of the bigger names in the league, they will need to up their game as the season progresses.

Firenze Guelfi (0-1) 42 – Bologna Warriors (1-1) 17

Firenze Guelfi WR Sebastiano Pascolo #28 stretching out for a catch against Bologna Warriors Photo: Daniel Bettazzi Channel

After a painfully close defeat to the Parma Panthers in the second round, the Firenze Guelfi demonstrated this past weekend that they are not to be messed with after stomping the Bologna Warriors 42-17.

Firenze have sported a unique offense over the past three years, switching utility players throughout the offensive line-up. This week, the unequivocal game decider was the three-headed rushing beast that was Jared Gerbino, Ahmaad Tanner and Andrea Fimiani.

The trio combined for a shocking 450 yards on the ground, leaving the Warriors covered in dust. Their unique style of play, led by the now returned head coach Art Briles, leaves teams wondering how to stop such an unconventional style of play.

Guelfi totaled just 42 passing yards but were able to score five touchdowns on the ground. Although Warriors quarterback Gabriel Cousineau had what would normally be considered an outstanding day, throwing for 314 yards and a touchdown, the defense was unprepared for what they faced.

Firenze’s very direct style of play will only improve as the season progresses and will undoubtedly prove to be a contender in the backend of the season.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.