IFL Week 5 preview: Possible Italian Bowl matchup

Week 5 in the Italian Football League (IFL) is offering what looks to be an Italian Bowl preview as Firenze Guelfi take on the Ancona Dolphins. Both teams have offered up nearly flawless performances, but the stage may just be too big for the Dolphins at this early stage in the season.

Varese Skorpions (1-1) @ Panthers Parma (1–1)

The Parma Panthers (very) run heavy offense has not looked the way that they would have hoped at the beginning of the season. It is likely that they took inspiration from the Guelfi in the offseason, but the pieces are yet to come together, which their opening-week loss to the Rhinos put on display.

The Skorpions on the other hand will feel they are in prime position to pick up their second win in their first season of the IFL. The Skorpions rushing game unleashed havoc on Mastini Verona last week and amassed over 230 yards and three touchdowns. If they can get anywhere near the same production again this week, they will surely fell the once mighty Panthers.

Ancona Dolphins (2–0) @ Guelfi Firenze (3–0)

This may be a preview of the Italian Bowl. Despite it being only week 5, both Guelfi and the Dolphins have put up insane numbers and have handled each of their opponents with ease.

Both sides have deep and experienced rosters, but what will likely make a difference on the day will be the leadership of Guelfi‘s veteran defense. Which has been playing at a championship level all season.

The Dolphins defense will likely put up a fight but it may be their offense that struggles to find their groove in the initial stages of the game. Quarterback Collin Di Galbo has played exceptionally against weaker opponents thus far, but will have to enter the game with a far more intentional game plan if they hope to take down the reigning champs.

Legnano Frogs (0–2) @ Verona Mastini (0-2)

Both the Mastini and Frogs remain winless. As both were recently promoted, they will be fighting to prove that they belong in Italy’s top league.

Last week the Frogs showed glimmers of hope on the ground with running back Monquavion Brinson managing to break a number of big runs against the Guelfi, ending the game with 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Mastini are yet to get things going in their second year in the IFL. Louis Colosimo has had a mediocre start with just 260 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. Mastini will need to get him going if they want more out of this year than they had in 2022.

Milano Rhinos (2-0) @ Lazio Ducks (1–1)

The final game of the weekend, and Sunday’s only showing, is stacking up to be a good one. The Rhinos have yet to be tested, but they have swatted weaker teams with ease. Joey Baughman has proved a solid pickup racking up 330 yards and four touchdowns in two games. But more impressive has been their defense who currently lead the league in both yards allowed per game and points scored.

The Ducks came out the blocks fast this year. In their first game quarterback Austin Albericci rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown and threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Last week against the Ducks however he looked overwhelmed and lost at times. If the Ducks can capture some of the magic from their first game, this may just force its way into the game of the week.

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.