Italy: Milano Seamen score thrilling last second touchdown to beat Firenze Guelfi

Redemption is always sweet and the Milano Seamen have definitely redeemed themselves.

Following a stunning upset loss to the Parma Panthers two weeks ago, the Seamen staged a late game rally, scoring a touchdown on the final play of the game to defeat the Firenze Guelfi 34-28 this past weekend. Danilo Bonaparte hauled in a Luke Zahkrada pass and plunged into the end zone in front of a stunned Firenze secondary to secure the win for Milano.

Zahkrada completed 18 of 24 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns while receiver Ismail Lamamra caught two of those touchdown passes with Stefan Di Tunis and Bonaparte catching the other two. Bonaparte also scored on a 19 yard end around.

For the Guelfi, quarterback Lynx Hawthorne threw for 152 yards while Silas Nacita completed 8 of 14 for 109 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 111 yards and another two touchdowns. Dayan Almeida caught one of the touchdown passes and Giacomo Bonanno, who was the game’s leading receiver with 93 yards, caught the other.

Milano WR Xavier Mitchell was a constant threat, Photo: Daniele Battazzi

Milano took charge early, scoring on their first two possessions, as Zahradka was superb, picking apart the Firenze secondary, throwing eight straight completions with Lamamra catching both scoring passes.

With the Seamen firmly in the lead, the Guelfi clawed their way back , mounting a 77 yard drive with Nacita capping it with a seven yard touchdown.

With Milano leading 14-6 early in the second quarter, Firenze pulled even as Nacita scored from a yard out and then threw a two-point conversion pass to Bonano, tying the game at 14-14.

Zahkrada responded, marching his team town to the Firenze eight yard line and then connecting with Di Tunisi to take a 21-14 lead into the break.

Midway through the third quarter, Bonano tied the game up, hauling in a 20 yard touchdown pass from Nacita, but Milano took the lead again as Bonaparte scored on the last play of the quarter to put the Seamen out in front 28-21.

Firenze Guelfi QB Lynx Hawthorne Photo: Daniele Bettazzi

Neither team could score in the fourth despite excellent chances until, with under two minutes to go, Nacita marched his team down to the Milano 18 yard line and then hit Almeida to tie the score at 28-28 with 14 seconds on the clock.

While the Guelfi were maybe thinking of overtime, the Seamen were not. A 31 yard kickoff return placed the ball at Milano’s 48 yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Firenze took the ball to the 37 yard line. Then, on the very last play of the game, Bonaparte slipped behind the defense and Zahkrada threw a beautiful scoring pass to him to end the game.

With the win, Milano climbs up into second place in Italy’s Div. 1 behind the undefeated Bolzano Giants. The loss drops Firenze down to fourth.

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