Central College capped a memorable week of experiencing the cultural delights of Greece and Italy while traveling overseas with Global Football with a 49-7 Dutch victory over Italian Football League team Roma Grizzlies.
Wide receiver Sam Markham caught two touchdowns, Riley Gray threw two scoring touchdown passes, and as coach Jeff McMartin blooded his entire roster, three different quarterbacks passed for touchdowns.
After both teams had gone three and out and punted away their opening possession, Gray lofted connected with Markham for a 13-yard touchdown, then Gray ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 Dutch lead.
Kohle Helle took over under center and found Zack Martinelli for an eight-yard touchdown connection, before Tyler Olson tagged on the extra point for a 15-0 advantage.
The Grizzlies started to move the ball in reply, but Corbin Blythe came up with an interception of Roma quarterback Diego Ianniello and returned the ball 55 yards for a pick-six touchdown.
Holding a 22-point advantage heading into the second quarter, the Dutch scored again early on a Cory Archer 22-yard touchdown run.
The advantage rose to 36 points at halftime when Josh Osborn forced his way into the end zone from two yards out and Olson split the uprights for a fourth time.
Gray threw another touchdown pass, this time to Drew Doehrmann from 12 yards out, to open a 43-0 Dutch lead heading into the fourth quarter with Olson reliably tagging on the extra point.
The Grizzlies were rewarded for a long drive and their persistence as Ottavio Cinque reeled in a touchdown pass from quarterback Diego Ianniello to put points on the board for the hosts. Ianniello only started playing American football seven years ago when, as a 22-year-old tennis coach, he decided to add to his sporting repertoire.
Noah Stochl completed the scoring in the 43-7 win, with a 28-yard scoring pass for Markham to catch his second touchdown of the afternoon as time expired.
The ties between Global Football and Central College extend beyond regular Dutch excursions across the Atlantic. Late head coach Ron Schipper was also the longtime coach for the Global Football-organized US team that participated at the Aztec Bowl in Mexico and the Tazón de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) held in Mexico each year and in December. Dutch defensive coordinator Don De Waard has served as the American squad’s head coach, three times, athletic training program director John Roslien has been the player personnel director for all 18 years of Global Football’s involvement, and Central’s Frank Neu is the game’s head athletic trainer.