Italy: Milano Seamen put championship run back on track in Bologna

The Milano Seamen took another step back towards the top of the Italian standings Saturday when they dominated the Bologna Warriors, beating them 41-17 in Bologna.

After their week one loss to the Parma Panthers, the defending champions have been eager to get back on track and reposition themselves as league favorites. Last week they took the first step against the Firenze Guelfi, serving them a decisive defeat.

This week, with their record leveled at 1-1, the next foe in the Seamen’s sights was the Bologna Warriors, who had themselves just come off their first victory of the season against the Lazio Ducks. With a strong Italian receiving corps, the Warriors would put the Seamen’s secondary, who were without safety Jarey Elder – who has been drafted into The Spring League – to the test.

Bologna received the ball first and after three negligible downs, surprisingly went for it on fourth down deep in their own territory, giving a nod to the fire power they were up against. After a successful conversion and two more seemingly insignificant plays QB Nick Rooney (#4) launched a 75-yard TD bomb out of nowhere to receiver Matteo Zanetti (#85). After a missed extra point, the score sat at 6 – 0.

Milano Seamen RB Giacomo Querzola fighting for yards Photo: Andrea Donati

On the following Seamen’s drive, receiver Jordan Bouah (#1) ate up half the field on a screen. A few more hitch-routes and a 15-yard fade into the back corner of endzone from Luke Zahradka (#7) to Flores (#81) resulted in a TD. 7 – 6 Seamen 

After two more three-and-outs by the Warriors and a pair of 60+ yard strikes by Zahradka to Flores and RB Querzola (#22), the Seamen were up 21 – 6. 

On the next Bologna possession, the Warriors went for it again on fourth-down deep in their own territory, this time unsuccessfully giving the Seamen great starting field position. But the Warriors defense would go on to hold the Seamen to a field goal keeping the game just within reach.

After a spectacular sideline catch by Mattia Parlangeli (#89) and a roughing the passer call the field switched for the Warriors putting them deep in the Seamen half. Parlangeli wasn’t done and a few wildcat plays later he went into the corner of the endzone for a 20-yard TD. Rooney ran it in himself for the two-point conversion and the Warriors crept closer, 24-14.

Warriors WR Michael Calabrese #89 catching TD pass Photo: Andrea Donati

Zahradka was determined not to let Bologna back into the game and just before the half marched down the field with his high powered offense with the explosive Bouah punching it in off a 15-yard jet-sweep making the score 31 – 14 at the end of the half.

Milano struck again on the first play of the second half, as RB Querzola returned the kickoff 90 yards for the TD making it 38 – 14, putting the final nail in the Bologna coffin early.

After a field goal from each team and a string of sacks by the Seamen defense, the game ground to a slow halt as Milano sent in their back-up quarterback to run the game out. The 41-17 final score was indicative of the Seamen’s dominance.

Next up for the Warriors is the winless Firenze Guelfi while the Seaman will take on a 2 – 0 Ancona Dolphins team.

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.