Road to Italian Super Bowl; Northern Teams Dominate Quarterfinals

All four teams from the North Division of the Italian Football League won their quarterfinal games against their South Division rivals, three of them comfortably.

Italy - playoff structure3

Milano Seamen (North #2) 48 – Roma Grizzlies (South #3) 12

Italy - Seamen - Dally 4

On Saturday, the Milano Seamen dominated the Roma Grizzlies from the opening kickoff beating them 48-12. Quarterback Jonathan Dally led the charge scoring four touchdowns within 16 minutes. Milano running back Mattia Binda, MVP of the 2014 Italian Super Bowl, returned to the lineup and made life impossible for the Rhinos defense. Meanwhile the Seamen’s defense allowed Roma only a single first down in the opening half while also getting an interception for a touchdown.

Next up for the Seamen will be crosstown rivals the Milano Rhinos this weekend in the semifinals.

Parma Panthers (North #1) 43 – Bologna Warriors (South #4) 14

Italy - Parma v Bologna pic

Milano’s division rivals the Parma Panthers were equally merciless in their 43-14 pounding of the Bologna Warriors. Running back Joe Martinek, along with receivers Michele Canali and Gabriele Zaccarelli scored touchdowns in the first half while Tommaso Finadri, Francesco Diaferia (two field goals) and Malpeli Avalli  scored in the second. Panthers quarterback Tommaso Monardi was flawless in directing the Parma attack.

Parma now faces the Bolzano Giants in the semifinals this weekend.

Milano Rhinos (North #4) 40 – Lazio Marines (South #1) 20

Italy - Milano Rhinos - TJ Pryor

In a game that was tight for most of the way, the Rhinos took charge in the second half to hand Lazio only their second defeat of the season. Unfortunately it was in a playoff game. Rhinos quarterback TJ Pryor broke the game open scoring five rushing touchdowns. Milano exploded for 25 straight points in the second half to take a commanding 40-14 lead. Despite several forays into the Rhinos red zone in the second half, the otherwise high scoring Marines came away empty handed until late in the contest when the game was virtually over.

The Rhinos will face cross town rivals the Milano Seamen in the semifinals this weekend.

Bolzano Giants (North #3) 18 – Ancona Dolphins (South #2) 6

Italy - Giants v. Dolphins

In the closest game of the weekend, the Dolphins, second place finishers in the South took a 6-0 lead but watched it vanish as the Giants began imposing their defensive will on Ancona. Quarterback Steven Adams of the Giants took over in the second half running for two touchdowns while the Bolzano defense totally stifled the Dolphins. After Ancona running back Nic Harris’ touchdown to open the scoring, the Dolphins could not penetrate the Giants red zone despite several attempts, including a fumble recovery by the Dolphin defense on the Bolzano 20 yard line late in the first half.

The Giants take on the Parma Panthers in the semifinals this weekend.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.