LIVESTREAM: Italy Wild Card Playoff – Torino Giaguari @Firenze Guelfi, Sat. June 15, 3:30p CEDT (9:30a EDT)

The Firenze Guelfi (6-2) will be the host team in a playoff game in Italy’s top division for the first time ever Saturday, June 15 when they welcome the Torino Giaguari (2-6) to Florence’s  Guelfi Sport Center.

The Guelfi entered Italy’s Div. I in 2016 and made the playoffs last season but they have never hosted a playoff game.

Firenze finished third in the regular season and defeated Torino 49-14 in the only meeting between the two teams. The Giaguari, who had been winless heading into the final two games of the season, won both including the decisive matchup with the Ancona Dolphins to determine the sixth and final playoff berth.

Firenze has not played a game since beating the Bergamo Lions 41-17 in the final regular season game of the year a month ago. The Guelfi boast the second leading offense in the league averaging 35.9 points a game behind the league’s best running back in Silas Nacita and quarterback Lynx Hawthorne. Nacita rushed for 1,146 yards and 20 TDs to win the rushing title by a wide margin while Hawthorne is fifth with 471. Although Hawthorne only threw for 1,060 yards in eight games, he finished second in passing efficiency with a rating of 146.8.

The Giaguari had gone winless and needed to win the final two games of the year to reach the playoffs, and they did. They first defeated the Bologna Warriors 48-46 in a shootout and then the Ancona Dolphins in a do or die matchup 24-18.

Torino quarterback Mark Wright threw for 627 yards and nine touchdowns in the two wins. He finished the year as the second leading passer in Italy with 1,879 yards and 21 touchdowns.  His leading receiver is Michael Wacoubo who has 25 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns. Adehkeem Brown as his second-leading receiver with 29 catches for 411 yards. The Giaguari’s ground game is the worst in the league averaging only 59.8 yards a game.

Watch the game live here. Torino Giaguari @Firenze Guelfi, Sat. June 15, 3:30p CEDT (9:30a EDT)

AFI
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