LIVE STREAM: Italy – Bolzano Giants v. Ancona Dolphins (4:30p CEST, 10:30a EDT)

The 5-1 Bolzano Giants are taking the five hour bus ride to Ancona on the east coast of Italy to face the 3-4 Ancona Dolphins Sunday in a game that is crucial to the playoffs for both teams.

The Giants find themselves in fourth place in the 11 team Italian league but in a tight race for second spot with the Parma Panthers and Milano Seamen, both also with 5-1 records. Bolzano advanced all they way to the Italian final in 2016 only to lose to the Milano Rhinos.

The last time these two teams met was in the 2016 quarterfinals when Bolzano won a hard-fought battle 19-13.

Ryan Kasdorf throwing against Bolzano in 2016 playoffs Photo: Lorenza Morbidoni

Behind the excellent play of quarterback Dustin Hawke Willingham, one of the top two passers in the league, the Giants have had an outstanding season so far with their only loss being to the Rhinos in a close 20-13 ball game.

The Dolphins have struggled against teams from northern Italy, which has produced the Italian champions for the past nine years. The Giants last won the title in 2009, beating the Lazio Marines in a memorable final.

Ancona quarterback Ryan Kasdorf remains among the leaders in Italy in passing yardage, touchdowns thrown and rushing (!) and with him behind center, the Dolphins could surprise.

Giants QB Dustin Hawke Willingham in action against Milano Rhinos

Nevertheless, Bolzano is in the driver’s seat in this one. Ancona has lost the services of wide receiver Michele Marchini, who was one of the top receivers in the league. He suffered a knee injury in the win over Lazio and is out for the season.

Watch live. Kickoff, Sunday May 14, 4:30 pm CET (10:30 am EDT)

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