Italy: Firenze Guelfi’s Andrea Fimiani puts on a show, Parma Panthers flex their muscles as fourth round action winds up

The Italian Football League wound up its fourth weekend of action this past weekend with a pair of close matchups and a blowout win by one of the league favorites.

Firenze Guelfi (2-1) 35 – Milano Rhinos (0-3) 29

In the Firenze Guelfi’s matchup against the Milano Rhinos, quarterback Andrea Fimiani put on a show, showing that he is not just a running threat but also a talented passer.

On paper, the game looked to be a blowout for Firenze after their dominant win last week while the Rhinos entered the contest with two disappointing losses. But Milano’s quarterback Daniel Santacaterina was determined to show the rest of the league what he was made of and went score for score with the Guelfi until the final whistle.

Despite this valiant effort by Santacaterina, who was able to put up 300 passing yards and two touchdowns, the Rhinos defense was still unable to fell the two-headed rushing beast that is Firenze Guelfi. Fimiani and Ahmaad Tanner combined for 234 yards, on top of Fimiani’s 237 passing yards. 

For the Rhinos, it was their third loss of the season; it is unlikely that the solid offensive performance will ease that loss. But for the now 2-1 Guelfi, they are showing that with former Baylor coach Art Briles at the helm they might just have the best offense in the league.

Parma Panthers (2-1) 34 – Bologna Warriors (1-3) 14

The second game of the weekend saw the 1-1 Parma Panthers take on the 1-2 Bologna Warriors. The Panthers came out strong after their disappointing loss to the Seamen two weeks ago and were up 27-0 by halftime. The Warriors were able to get a couple of touchdowns in the second half, but by that time the game was already over.

Panthers quarterback Brook Bolles had a far better outing this time around after a disappointing performance against the Seamen. The young quarterback threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns before getting taken out in the second half.

The Panthers should have another sure win against a struggling Modena Vipers side that have only been newly promoted this year. This was another game where Bolles had a chance to sharpen his arm which he will need to do if he hopes to take down the Seamen later in the season.

Lazio Ducks (2-1) 26 – Ancona Dolphins (2-1) 23

Photo: Germano Capponi

The final game of the weekend proved to be one of the most exciting with the Lazio Ducks squaring off against the Ancona Dolphins.

The Dolphins have proved a formidable force in the early part of the season, dispatching both the Warriors and Rhinos with relative ease. Their first real test of the season came against a scrappy Ducks side who have shown they will do whatever it takes to win.

Last week, the Ducks lent heavily on quarterback Calvin Stitt to get the job done, but it was the job of the rushing game this week. Five rushers – including Stitt – combined for 123 yards and two touchdowns to add to Stitt’s 109 yards through the air.

Ancona’s Colin Di Galbo had been going from strength to strength in his Italian sophomore year, but it was a couple of interceptions and key points in the game that let him down this week. The game ended 26-23 Ducks, leaving the Dolphins with their first loss of the season.

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.