American Football International

Italy: Firenze Guelfi find win column again; edge Bologna Warriors

After suffering back-to-back losses, the 4-2 Firenze Guelfi finally savored victory again, although it wasn’t easy, when they downed the surprisingly tough 0-6 Bologna Warriors 34-28 this past weekend in Bologna, Italy.

Firenze quarterback Lynx Hawthorne completed only 6 of 13 passes but still threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Frederico Carboni caught two of those scoring passes while Silas Nacita caught the other. Nacita had 91 yards in receptions and  also rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries. He also threw for 102 yards and two touchdowns hitting both Steve Franco and Quelly Sousa.

For the Warriors, running back James Flanders was dangerous the entire game and rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Nicolò “Willo” Scaglia threw for 128 yards and a touchdown and running back Ervis Cira rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

The teams combined for 42 first half points with Flanders scoring first for Bologna on a 25 yard scamper. Carboni equalized at 7-7  for the Guelfi on a 10 yard pass from Hawthorne and then two possessions later Firenze went out in front again, this time with Hawthorne finding Steve Franco for a 53 yard pass and run.

Firenze Guelfi RB Steve Franco Photo: Guelfi Firenze

Again the Warriors tied it up  with Cira capping a 48 yard drive with a three yard touchdown plunge.

Thirty seconds later, Firenze struck again as Hawthorne hit a streaking Nacita for a 55 yard touchdown and the Guelfi went out in front 20-14. Bololgna was given no chance to respond as the Guelfi recovered their own onside kick at midfield and six plays later, Nacita tossed a 16 yard touchdown pass to Sousa to extend the lead to 28-14 heading into halftime.

Midway through the third quarter, the Warriors edged closer when Scaglia first found Sassoli with a 43 yard pass and then Cira punched the ball in from nine yards out to make the score 28-21.

It was shortlived hope though as on the next series, Firenze marched 78 yards in 15 plays with Nacita taking control, finally hitting Carboni for a two yard scoring pass to increase the lead to 34-21.

Bologna Warriors RB James Flanders Photo: Guelfi Firenze

Neither team could gain any momentum in the fourth until the Warriors took over at their own one yard line with just under five minutes left. Scaglia drove his team to his own 40 and then found Berezan for a 49 yard touchdown pass and suddenly Bologna was back in it with just under two minutes remaining.

This time though, the onside kick failed and Firenze breathed a sigh of relief and ran the clock out to record their fourth win of the season.