LIVESTREAM: Italy – Parma Panthers @Ancona Dolphins, Saturday March 9, 8p CEST (2p EST)

Perennial contenders to win the Italian crown, the Parma Panthers, head to Ancona on Italy’s Adriatic coast to face the Ancona Dolphins in the opening game of the Italian season for both teams.

In the only meeting between the two teams in 2018, Parma came out on top 33-7.

Parma, who reached the final six straight times from 2010 to 2015 and won the title four times, were semifinalists in 2018. The Panthers finished the year with an 8-2 record but were surprisingly bounced from the semifinals by the Bolzano Giants. Parma has made the biggest change at quarterback in Italy this season as Reilly Hennessey  (Central Washington) will be behind center replacing Tommaso Monardi, who was the starter for the Panthers for eight years helping the team win four titles. The 6’3″, 200 lb Hennessey, from Camas, Washington threw for 2,705 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2018 to go along with his 2,551 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2017. He also ran for 572 yards and five touchdowns in 2018, setting a CWU single season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and the year before he rushed for 477.

Also joining the Panthers is defensive back Derrick Bryant (University Of Indianapolis Greyhounds, 2013—2016) who played for the Lixil Deers in Japan’s XLeague in 2018. The 5’11”, 220 lb Bryant from South Holland, Illinois, spent the 2018 season playing linebacker for the Deers following an outstanding career at Indianapolis. In his senior season, he recorded 121 tackles  and was named 1st Team All GVLC (Great Lakes Valley Conference) and voted Outstanding Linebacker of the Year.

Ancona, who finished with a 4-6 record in 2018 and were knocked out of the wild card playoffs by the Lazio Ducks, has also made a change at quarterback with Nelson Hughes III (North Greenville University, NCAA Div. II)  replacing Josh Dean. Hughes, 6′, 185 lbs,  a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was the seventh leading passer in the German Football League in 2018 playing for the Ingolstadt Dukes. He threw for 2,947 yards and 30 touchdowns in averaged 210 yards a game. He also rushed for 352 yards and another three touchdowns. Also signed for 2019 is defensive back Dylan Albertson, a 6’2″, 212 lb defensive back from the University of Central Missouri (USA: Division II). 

Watch the game live here. Parma Panthers @Ancona Dolphins, Saturday March 9, 8p CEST (2p EST)

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