Italy: A drama-filled weekend of football coming up as playoff picture begins to take shape

This weekend the Italian Football League (IFL) will see eight of its nine teams play, following the rescheduling of the week 6 game between the Modena Vipers and Bologna Warriors. If their records are anything to go by, we should see some tightly contested games.

Ancona Dolphins (3-2) @ Milano Seamen 4-0

The stage for this weekend’s opener in the IFL will be Velodromo Vigorelli as the Ancona Dolphins travel to the Seamen in what could be Milano’s first test of the season.

The Seamen have barely raised an arm and dispatched all would-be opponents in a seemingly pedestrian manner so far. Quarterback Luke Zahradka is putting up video-game numbers on his way to an almost certain MVP performance with the help of first-year wideout Markell Castle.

But despite all of the Seamen’s success, they have yet to come up against a team that has been able to contain their passing attack. The Dolphins may be just that team. They have let just one team score more than 14 points on them this year and have only faltered due to an inconsistent offense.

If the Dolphins defense can work their magic on the Seamen long enough to keep within striking distance, it may just be the shock needed to propel Ancona to a victory over what looks like an otherwise unbeatable team.

Bologna Warriors 1-4 @ Modena Vipers 2-1

The second game of Saturday will be another one to watch as the Modena Vipers attempt to continue their impressive winning streak alive against the Bologna Warriors.

Last week the Warriors were missing starting quarterback Gabriel Cousineau, and they felt it. The team totalled just 12 yards passing, inflating an already large bubble around the SeamenIf the Warriors hope to keep their season alive, they will look for Cousineau’s return in this must-win game. 

Across from them are the smoking-hot Modena Vipers. After a mediocre outing in week 2, their first game of the IFL ended with a loss. Since then, the team has scored wins against both the Lazio Ducks and defending champions Parma Panthers.

Heads are already starting to turn towards Modena. If the Vipers can keep up the momentum, they may be the league’s dark horse.

Milano Rhinos 0-4 @ Verona Mastini 1-3

Both Verona and the Milano Rhinos have struggled this year for different reasons; Verona’s personnel has often look outmatched in Italy’s top league and the Rhinos are wildly inconsistent on both sides of the ball.

This however may be both sides’ chance to add to the win column and avoid the prospect of relegation.

Firenze Guelfi 4-1 @ Lazio Ducks 2-3

The fourth and final game of week 8 may shape up to be the best as Firenze Guelfi go up against the Lazio Ducks in Rome.

Head coach Art Briles has led Guelfi’s offense on a reign of terror. The three-headed rushing attack that is Jared Gerbino, Andrea Fimiani, and Ahmaad Tanner has been literally unstoppable. The trio have so far amassed 1,650 yards on the ground, over 1,000 yards more than the next team down.

The Ducks on the other hand, have had a less straightforward approach. Their ability to just ‘make it work’ has not only kept them in games but allowed them to drastically outscore their opponent in the second half in nearly every matchup.

These two squads have yet to meet so it will be hard to say how the Lazio defense will shape up against Guelfi’s rushing attack, which will undoubtedly be the key to the game. But if the Ducks can survive the onslaught for just long enough, they will stand a good chance to bring their record back to .500 with a strong fourth-quarter surge.

 

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who has worked in B2B journalism and comms in the third sector; with experience in both education and human rights. He played for the London Warriors for 15 years as well as Team Great Britain .