Italy: Lazio Ducks stay in the playoff race with shutout victory, Panthers and Rhinos also win

As the race for the playoff berths heats up in the Italian Football League (IFL), the Lazio Ducks made their case for a spot while the Milano Rhinos wound up their season on a winning note and the Parma Panthers have almost secured their second place in the standings.

Parma Panthers (5-2) 30 – Ancona Dolphins (4-4) 12 

Parma Panthers LB Dauson Dales #42 running with the ball Photo: Luigi Felisa

The first matchup of the weekend featured the defending champions, the Parma Panthers and the Ancona Dolphins.

This year the Dolphins have made a reputation for themselves for having one of the best secondaries in the league, and they lived up to it against Parma this weekend. Panthers quarterback Brook Bolles was held to just 48 yards passing and threw two interceptions.

But where the Panthers lacked in passing, they made up for rushing the ball as Bolles (108 yards) and import linebacker Dauson Dales (141 yards) combined for 249 yards on the ground. This kept the Ancona offense off the field and the scoreline ticking over.

By the half, the Panthers were up 17-5 with very little in the way of opposition as the Panthers defense completely shut down Dolphins quarterback Colin Di Galbo and any semblance of a rushing attack.

Lazio Ducks (3-4) 21 – Mastini Verona (1-5) 0

The one and only Sunday game saw a playoff-hungry Lazio Ducks dismantle the Verona Mastini.

The Mastini have struggled since week one and will likely face relegation after a disappointing first season in Italy’s top division.

The Ducks came out of the gates firing and were quickly able to get on the board after a first-drive muffed punt by Mastini. This set the tone for the rest of the first half as Ducks quarterback Calvin Stitt and running back Thomas Alivernini periodically went down the field to pick up another two touchdowns.

The Ducks were up 21-0 by the half, but this is all the action spectators would get. Lazio’s first half performance was that of a playoff team, the second half was not.

As Lazio now look to secure a playoff spot with a favorable matchup next week against the Bologna Warriors, they will need to up their game and get more out of Stitt if they hope to be competitors.

More scores:

Milano Rhinos (2-6) 30 – Modena Vipers (3-4) 20

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.