TJ Pryor leads Milano Rhinos over Seamen in Milano Derby

Depsite strong early showing by the Seamen offense, the Rhinos quarterback rushed for all four touchdowns for his team and was nearly unstoppable.

Italy’s Week 4 of the Divisione 1 at Stadio Ganni Brera Pero hosted what will be the only ‘derby’, or cross-town meeting, this regular season between Rhinos and Seamen.

Milano Rhinos – Milano Seamen 26-10
( 7-7; 7-3; 6-0; 6-0 )

The Seamen came out ready and struck immediately. Quarterback Luke Zahradka twice connected with his favorite target, U.S. import Reece Horn, the latter bringing the Seamen from their own 42 to the 1st & goal on Rhinos 5-yard line. After a false start penalty, Zahradka finished the drive with a designed quarterback keeper into the end-zone to give the Seamen the early 7-0 lead.

The Rhinos responded immediately, with rushes by Querzola that took the Rhinos down to Seamen 20-yard line. Rhinos evasive quarterback TJ Pryor scrambled and evened the match at 7-7 with a run of 20 yards for the touchdown.

Zahradka looked strong on their second drive until they were was stopped by the Rhinos’ McNeal on a third and 3rd and 15, however, Zahradka and the Seamen went for it on 4th and 5, and Zahradka found Horn down on the Rhinos 21. However, the Rhinos would come out as winners when Della Vecchia comes up with a incredible diving interception in the corner of the Rhino end-zone.

A poor punt gives the Rhinos possession at the Seamen 35-yard line. It took Rhino running back Ervis Cira two rushes to get the Rhinos down to the 1-yard line before quarterback Pryor punched it in to put the Rhinos up 14-7.

The Seamen continued to charge down the field in the second quarter, thanks to the connection of Zahradka and Horn, but their drive stalled inside the Rhinos red-zone. A field goal by Stefano Di Tunis made the score 14-10, which turned out to be the half-time score.

Coming out of half-time for teams forced three-and-outs. An excellent punt by Seamen punter Paul Morant forced the Rhinos to start from their own 3-yard line. A 12-yard run from Pryor and the related 15-yard facemark penalty brought the ball to the Rhinos 35.  Pryor continued to damage the Seamen defense with his feet, next keeping the ball for a 40 yard design quarterback sweep. Rushes for running back Cira, brought the ball down the Seamen 5, where Pryor again kept it for the rushing touchdown. 20-10 Rhinos.

After the excellent return of by Bonaparte, the Seamen fumble early in their next drive and the Rhinos recover on their own 40.

The fourth quarter begins with the Rhinos smelling blood and Pryor finding reicever Alessandro Peveraro for a first down at the Seamen 25. From here, once again, Pryor takes over and keeps it for at 25-yard touchdown run. The PAT fails 26-10 Rhinos.

This turns out to the be the final score, as the Seamen fail to return into the Rhinos zone until the last drive.

From the Milano Rhinos head coach Chris Ault;

For our team it is a great victory. We had a lot of injuries but the boys, played one of the best quarterback I’ve ever coached against. We did not shine last week did but today an excellent game, TJ Pryor is the greatest player in Italy. We have three running backs competing when they and their competition makes the team better.

Check out the full game recap and highlights below;

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.