The Milano Seamen put on a physical display of football Saturday night in trouncing the previously undefeated Ancona Dolphins 31-0 in a steady downpour in Milan, Italy.
Ancona had been one of only two undefeated teams in Italy’s Division 1 making the victory all the more sweet for a Milano team bent on demonstrating their dominance.
The weather was to play an integral part in the contest with heavy rains coming just before and during the game effectively turning any passing play over 10 yards into either an interception or an incompletion.
The Seamen’s defense came out pumped up and forced consecutive punts resulting in two scores after a dominant ground game from Milano running backs Gianpietro Ruffato (#22) and William Petrone (#24). The Ancona side, unable to get much going through the air went for it early in the half on fourth-down showing their intention, which often backfired giving the Seamen favorable field position.
Back and forth turnovers forced by both defenses meant a quick change in possession but it was only the Seamen who were able to capitalize due to a superior ground and screen game meaning that Ancona went in at the half down 17 – 0.
It was in the second half that Luke Zahradka (#7) was able to get some sort of passing game going with strikes to both Ismail Lanamra (#11) and Jordan Bouha (#1) for the score sending Seamen up 31 – 0 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth-quarter saw nothing but three-and-outs from both sides as the ball became heavier and harder to handle with the only noticeable change in the slog coming from back-up QB Joshua Croppenstedt (#4).
Ancona undoubtedly walked away from this one disappointed feeling the forces of nature did nothing but hinder their playing style disrupting their unbeaten record. But the Dolphins will have another chance to show the league what they are made of in their upcoming game against the last and only undefeated team in the league, the Parma Panthers on May 8.
For the Seamen, this was just another step towards what they deem to be a championship year and a rematch against the top seeded Parma Panthers.