IFL Week 5 review: Firenze Guelfi, Milano Rhinos, Legnano Frogs won thrillers while Parma dominated

The first half of the Italian Football League (IFL) is now in the books and a league-wide bye week approaches. But to go out with a bang the league offered up an exhilarating finish with three of the four games ending with just a one score difference.

Parma Panthers 24 – Varese Skorpions 0

Parma opened the season with a disappointing start but have since bounced back and now seem to have found their stride with some excellent defensive play. Import running back Ryan Minniti was again the bright spark on offense for Parma as he racked up 198 yards on the ground.

Firenze Guelfi 44 – Ancona Dolphins 37

The second game of the weekend was slated as a potential Italian Bowl preview, and it did not disappoint. Guelfi quarterback Jared Gerbino dominated the first half with both his arm and his legs and managed to give his team a 30–7 lead at the half with four rushing touchdowns. 

But as the second half opened, it was Dolphins quarterback Collin Di Galbo who began to claw back the point difference with quick scores to open the third quarter. The pair then went blow for blow for the remainder of the game, putting on a superb show for viewers.

Di Galbo finished the game with 252 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and a further touchdown on the ground. Gerbino finished with 360 all-purpose yards and an astonishing six touchdowns.

Legnano Frogs 27 – Verona Mastini 20

The Saturday night game was a tale of two halves. The Frogs dominated in the first half thanks to some great improvisation from quarterback Eystin Salum who gashed the Mastini defense time and time again. 

The Frogs had managed to amass a sizable 21–0 lead by the first half, but in the second half Mastini quarterback Louis Colosimo began to mount an impressive comeback. After hitting wideouts Alberto Barbaro for two touchdowns and Luca Tommasi for one, Verona had brought the score to 20–21. 

But unfortunately for the Mastini, Salum had the final say as he put together a 77-yard drive and punched in one final touchdown. Salum finished the game with 333 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

Milano Rhinos 39 – Lazio Ducks 34

Ducks QB looking downfield – Photo: Maurizio Elisio

The final game of the weekend saw two teams battle it out in what was a hotly contested matchup for all four quarters.

Following the injury to import quarterback Joey Baughman, the Rhinos have brought in Irish quarterback Matthew O’Meara who last year played for the Ravensburg Razorbacks in the GFL. Despite splitting time with Italian quarterback Raven Ines, O’Meara took over in the second half and was able to punch in a number of scores for Milano to maintain their lead throughout.

Ducks quarterback Austin Albericci again played exceptionally well. In weeks past it was Albericci’s legs that proved most deadly, but against the Rhinos he showed was a deadly passer he can be too. 

O’Meara finished the game with 192 yards and two touchdowns, Ines finished with 123 yards and a touchdown. Albericci finished with 314 yards and four touchdowns. 

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.