Overtime field goal lifts Parma Panthers over Milano Seamen

The Milano Seamen fell for the first time at home this past weekend 17-14 to the Parma Panthers.

The Seamen’s path was marred by too many errors as they handed the Panthers two early turnovers that led to Parma touchdowns.

Milan’s first possesion ended with an interception when Seamen quarterback Luke Zahradka’s pass was nabbed and returned 48 yards by Parma Panthers defensive back Tony Bell. The Seamen were forced to punt after a three and out on their next possession.

When Parma took over near midfield, they systematically drove down the field. It was Bell again, this time on offense, who punched it in from the 13-yard line. 14-0 Parma early in the first.

Both teams traded punts, as their possessions were full of incompletions and the only way they could move the ball was on the ground. Panthers American import Tony Bell and the Seamen Italian running back Danilo Bonaparte were certainly the most prolific athletes of the contest, with both players controlling the offensive game for their respective clubs. However, near the end of the second quarter Zahradka found receiver Ismail Lamamra in the corner of the end zone. The PAT was converted by Stefano Di Tunisi and allowed the Seamen to climb back to a 14-7 deficit going into halfitme.

In the second half, both teams traded punts. When the Milan punt reached Bell back deep for the Panthers, the returner attempt to recover it on the bounce and muffed it. The Seamen recovered on the Panthers 10-yard line. On second down, Zahradka hit Davide Toracca in the flat, and he cut upfield finding a few blockers then diving in the end-zone. After another successful Di Tunisi conversion the score was an even 14-14.

Milano Seamen quarterback Luke Zahradka

Entering the fourth quarter both teams defensive stepped up. The Milano Seamen forced a Panther quarterback Tommaso Monardi to fumble. With good field possession the Seamen, the Seamen running game was stopped in its tracks and were forced to punt. The Panthers put together a drive deep into Seamen territory, but failed to convert on a 4th down when a errant snap caused a broken play. The teams continued to trades punts, until Zahradka found Toracca down the near sideline and had a chance to setup Di Tunisi for the game-winning field goal. The attempt went wide left and time expired. Overtime in Milano.

The Italians use NCAA double overtime rules. The Panthers started their drive on the Seamen 25-yard line. The Panthers drove down near the goal-line by were forced to kick a field goal, which Matteo Felli converted. 17-14 Panthers.

Zahradka brought his team down to near the goal-line, but the Panthers defense and a false start penalty kept the Seamen out of the end-zone. With the game on the line, the ensuing Di Tunsi game-tying field goal was blocked by Panther defensive back Fredrico Rossi!

Defeated 17-14 the Seamen drop to fourth in the Italian standings and now have no room for error the rest of the Italian season. Next week the Seamen travel to Pesaro to play the 1-6 UTA. Parma go to Bolzano for a heads up battle for second place in Italy against the Giants who are also at 6-1.

Parma Panthers 17, Cisalfa Milano Seamen 14
(0-14, 7-0, 7-0, 0-0, 0-3 OT)

Dario Fumagalli

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.