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Aviano wins northern Italy battle with Vicenza

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 16, 2017

VICENZA, Italy -- Last year’s 0-5 also-ran is this year’s 2-0 Division II football powerhouse.

The Aviano Saints, DODEA-Europe’s only winless Division II team in 2016, picked up their second straight win to start the 2017 campaign Saturday with a 56-20 thrashing of the rival Vicenza Cougars.

The stars were legion for the Saints on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

On offense, Pablo Cervantes racked up 177 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Mason Shine threw for three touchdowns, while Tony Perales caught two scores as part of a 168-yard receiving effort.

Defensively, Brandon Heisig and Ben Broome each made 10 tackles and Jason Valladares grabbed an interception for Aviano.

The triumph is Aviano’s second-straight double-digit margin of victory, coupled with its season-opening 47-12 rout of AFNORTH/Brussels on Sept. 9.

Meanwhile, the loss evens the season record for Vicenza, which blasted SHAPE 50-17 last weekend for its own season-opening win.

Aviano welcomes Southern rival Hohenfels next weekend, while Vicenza continues the Italian portion of its schedule with a Saturday visit from Naples.

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