SIGONELLA, Italy — It took their usual rally to do it, but the Sigonella Jaguars clinched the Division III regular-season title Saturday with a 29-20 victory over Menwith Hill.
The victory lifted the Jaguars to a 3-0 league mark and capped a week of improbable events that moved Sigonella to the top of the league standings.
First, Sigonella’s 26-20 double-overtime loss Sept. 25 at Alconbury was reversed when the Dragons had to forfeit for using an ineligible player. Then, Sigonella had to overcome six turnovers and a quick 7-0 hole on a drizzly day against the Mustangs.
“Sigonella fumbled on the first play of the game,” Jags’ coach Matt McKown wrote in a Saturday e-mail. “Menwith Hill recovered and scored on its first offensive play as Lawrence Alston cut through the defense for a TD run of 30 yards.”
Alston, who scored all three Mustang TDs, finished with 80 total yards, but in the end Sigonella’s “four-headed monster” — running backs Kahlil Bowen, Jeff Lastrella, Joe Coleman and Larry Stevenson — prevailed.
Brown finished with 91 yards and a TD, Stevenson with 81 and two TDs, Lastrella with 86 yards and a TD and Coleman with 79 yards, for a combined 316 yards on the ground.
Idle this week, Sigonella (3-0) is to host winless Brussels on Oct. 23 and already assured of the top seed in the Division III semifinals the following Saturday. The Jags will host the nine-man football league’s No. 4 finisher.
Menwith Hill (1-1) plays at Rota on Saturday and hosts Alconbury on Oct. 23.