Italian American Football League: Week 2 Round Up filled with surprises as underdogs turn into favorites

Another successful weekend of the Italian Football League is in the books.

Many twists and turns occurred throughout the games, surprise blowouts, expected dominant performances, the champions returning to the field and the continuation of a dark horse contender.

Plenty to get through so let’s get straight into it.

Parma Panthers 33 – Milano Rhinos 26

Photo: Irena Leite

The moral of the story is that no lead is safe. The defending Italian champions, the Parma Panthers, were 26-0 up with one second left of the first half and finished the game with a slim 33-26 win. The offensive line of Parma looks way ahead of everyone else in the league apart from Guelfi. The Panthers team picked up where they left off offensively, defensively they got the job done with some keep stops and turnovers but seemed to slow down in the latter half. Milano has been effective in the first two weeks; they sit at 1-1 but have impressed on the field regardless. They will likely fall somewhere behind the favorite 3.

Varese Skorpions 28 – Lazio Marines 7

The Varese Skorpions are continuing their pursuit of the championship with another win, this time against the Lazio Marines. Lazio has had a rough schedule to start the season and the 0-2 record perhaps isn’t representative of the quality of the team. Having said that, the Skorpions look comfortable in the 28-7 victory. Former NFL QB Ryan Griffin impressed again, tossing four touchdown passes as Varese pulled away from the very start and did not look in trouble throughout the game. If a fan was told in 2023 that the Skorpions would start the season 2-0 against quality teams like Guelfi and Lazio they probably wouldn’t believe it. They remain the dark horse.

Guelfi Firenze 55 – Bologna Warriors 0

Photo: Daniele Bettuzzi Channel

The last game wasn’t ever in question, the first few minutes of this game gave us all we needed to know, it was clear, that Firenze wanted to prove a point after going 0-1 to start the season. Safe to say 48-0 at halftime was representative of the momentum. Alex Ferrari and the defensive unit looked solid once against as likely the best defense in Italy. The offense found some momentum in the run game, going for 215 yards and 8.6 per carry. The Bologna offense looks stunned and never got off the ground for the second straight week. Next week a lot will have to improve.

Legnano Frogs 36 – Torino Giaguari 7

The field was struggling in this game, it was another mud bowl to add to last week’s Skorpions win over Guelfi. Torino started strong with a return to the endzone from former Milano Seamen receiver Tamsir Seck. However, that was the last time that they would see the end zone. The Frogs derailed the hype train with a strong 36-7 display on all phases of the game. Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi the former Cleveland Brown officially made his presence known in the league with several key plays and the defense of the Frogs was the unsung hero that kept the Torino offense in check all day.

In summary…

Overall, another great week of football. The Italian league is one of my favorite leagues in Europe because of the production, commentary (I can’t speak Italian, but the passion is what we come for) and the quality of the athletes on the field. Week three has a few interesting match-ups, withe the highlight maybe being the Ancona Dolphins vs Parma Panthers contest. It will be a good test for both teams that’s for sure.