Italy: Bolzano Giants knock off Parma Panthers as playoffs loom

The 7-2 Bolzano Giants won their fifth straight game in Italy’s Division I and avenged an earlier defeat to beat the Parma Panthers 20-10 at home in Bolzano, Italy.

Although the win did not overcome the points differential between the two teams as Parma defeated the Giants 36-0 two months ago, it gave Bolzano momentum with one game remaining in the regular season and the playoffs looming.

Paced by wide receiver Mark Simone who scored two touchdowns, Bolzano took a 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter before the Panthers could score a touchdown.

New Giants quarterback Rodney Brown threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and added another one himself.

Bolzano QB Rodney Brown Photo: Valentina Gallina

Panthers quarterback Tommaso Monardi had a long day completing 14 of 38 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. But he threw two interceptions, one of which led to the Giants first touchdown. Wide receiver Dario Zatti caught the lone touchdown pass from Monardi. Matteo Felli kicked a field goal.

Despite missing key starters including wide receiver Kris Durham and defensive lineman Michele Canali, Parma struck first with a first quarter 41 yard field goal from the foot of Felli.

Bolzano slowly gained control of the game with Brown finding Simone for a 38 yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Then Brown capitalized on a Monardi interception and punched the ball in from the three yard line two plays later to give the Giants a 12-3 lead which they carried into the break.

Bolzano RB William Petrone Photo: Valentina Gallina

On the first play of the second half, Brown and Simone connected again on an 80 yard touchdown increasing the lead to 20-3.

Both defenses stiffened with neither team able to cross midfield until midway through the fourth quarter when Monardi capped a 76 yard drive with a three yard touchdown pass to Zatti.

A late interception of a Monardi pass attempt sealed the game for Bolzano.

Next up for the Giants are the 4-5 Ancona Dolphins on June 3 while Parma will take on the Milano Rhinos who are also 4-5.

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AFI
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