Italy: Lazio Ducks open with impressive win over Bologna Warriors

The Lazio Ducks spoiled the home debut of the Bologna Warriors in their first game back in Italy’s Division I since 2016, by beating them 40-20 as the Italian American football season kicked off this past weekend.

The Ducks under head coach Davide Giuliano, who was making his first appearance on the sideline in the top league in Italy since leading the Catania Elephants to the Italian Bowl in 2012, started slow but picked up momentum as the game wore on.

However, it was the hometown Warriors who struck first taking a 14-0 lead with quarterback Nicolò “Willo” Scaglia first finding Mattia Parlangeli  for a 17 yard touchdown and hitting Andrea Sangiorgi for a two yard touchdown. Lazio battled back with quarterback Tyler Johnson starting to find his rhythm after a shaky start. He marched his team down to the Bologna two yard line and scampered in for the Ducks first score and then connected with Tommaso Pozzebon for a 42 yard strike to tie the game at 14-14.

Game MVP Lorenzo Melchiorre hauled in a 62 yard touchdown pass from Johnson to break open the tie, and then on the next series picked off Scaglia and returned the ball all the way to the end zone to give Lazio a 27-14 lead.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Warriors as a bad snap handed the ball back to Lazio on the 21 yard line. Johnson wasted no time finding running back Mike Gentili wide open in the end zone to increase the lead to 34-14.

Nevertheless, penalties played a role with Lazio hit with three 15 yard penalties in a row giving the ball to the Warriors in great field position. Running back Ervis Cira made no mistake carrying the ball in to close the gap to 34-20.

However, Gentili restored the 20 point lead with a 23 yard run to make the final score 40-20.

In other action in Italy, the Milano Seamen had no trouble with the Bergamo Lions, blanking them 37-0. The Parma Panthers were 14-10 winners over the Ancona Dolphins in Ancona while the Bolzano Giants  made short work of the Torino Giaguario whipping them 41-7.

Italy’s Div. I resumes action this coming weekend with four games on top. The Firenze Guelfi open their season at home against the Parma Panthers while the Bologna Warriors  play host to the defending champion Milano Seamen. The Bergamo Lions  will take on Bolzano Giants in Bergamo and the Lazio Ducks return home to Rome to host the Ancona Dopphins.

Source: FIDAF

Photos: Giulio Busi

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