SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers carries the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide n the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)There didn’t appear to be that many obvious upset spots in college football this week. Most certainly wouldn’t put teams like Clemson and Alabama on the list of teams that could be in trouble.And yet, the nation’s top two schools still have plenty of work to do as we near halftime. Alabama had trouble with Ole Miss early on, but has opened up a 24-10 lead in the second quarter.Clemson, meanwhile, is getting matched by Mack Brown and North Carolina. The two teams just went to the locker room tied at 14.The Tigers have a slight edge in yardage, 221-to-170, but UNC is yet to turn it over, while Clemson running back Travis Etienne lost a fumble in the first half. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell has looked impressive again for UNC, despite facing Brent Venables’ elite defense. He has 99 yards and a pair of touchdown throws early, finding Dyami Brown and Beau Corrales for scores.Even so, ESPN’s Football Power Index still has Clemson as a heavy favorite, even with how well the Tar Heels have played. At halftime, it gives the Tigers an 80.5-percent chance to win the game.Both of Clemson’s touchdowns so far have come on the ground. Etienne has 51 yards and a score on 11 carries, while Trevor Lawrence scored on a quarterback keeper.The star sophomore has played well for Dabo Swinney so far, completing 10-of-13 throws for 126 yards, and another 29 and the score on the ground.
She lied about the villagers having no knowledge of the ambush and was told that she would also be shot if the Germans discovered the men were not innocent.Luckily, the villagers had buried their partisan armbands and all the prisoners were released, with the German commander telling them they owed their lives to Gabriella.The next day the Germans fled the village, just hours before it was liberated by the Allies. After the war Gabriella met and married British army officer Captain Peter Ezra and moved to Britain with him.Her son Mark, 65, a film director, recently wrote a letter to the Italian embassy to tell his mother’s extraordinary tale.The ambassador subsequently presented her with the Star of Italy, awarded to British and Commonwealth forces who served in the Italian Campaign from 1943 to 1945.”If my mother had not intervened they would all have been killed,” Mark said. “She showed such remarkable courage.”I wrote to the embassy and my mother was invited to receive the Star of Italy. She was understandably delighted.”The whole family was at the ceremony and we had a fabulous time.”The local partisans had forewarned the people of Capella di Scorze about the attack on the Germans and advised them to close their shutters in case their windows shattered. Gabriella in her native Venice just after the war.Credit:BNPS The extraordinary story of a fearless teenage girl who saved an entire village from being executed by the Nazis has come to light after she received a gallantry award 74 years later.Gabriella Ezra, 91, who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, intervened to stop her father Luigi and 37 other inhabitants of a village in her native Italy from being massacred by a Nazi firing squad.She has now been awarded a prestigious Star of Italy medal after her son Mark wrote to the Italian embassy to make them aware of his mother’s heroic actions on the morning April 28, 1945.Gabriella, who was 17 at the time, chased after a German officer and pleaded with him to show mercy to the villagers of Capella di Scorze, near Venice, who had been rounded up and locked in a cowshed.The Germans were after retribution following an attack on their men by Italian partisans which had left several of them wounded.They had previously executed 31 men in a neighbouring town following partisan action, with these prisoners set to suffer the same fate.Gabriella, who spoke immaculate German as her family had lived in Austria, was taken by the officer to speak to his commander. Afterwards the Germans arrived and rounded up 38 men, prompting Gabriella’s brave intervention.The retired language school teacher remembered that after a partisan attack, the Germans took the men from the village, including her father, and locked them in a cowshed.”I told my mother I had to do something so I ran after the officer and pleaded with him that these men were just farmers who cared about their fields and cows,” she said.”He took me to the commandant and I begged him not to kill them, telling him again and again these men were innocent.”They took me outside and lined up the men with a firing squad and said ‘this woman tells me you are innocent. If she’s lying I’ll kill you all, her first’.The men were searched, but had hidden their partisan armbands in the cowshed. As they were led away Gabriella’s father passed her his watch and a note for her mother, thinking he was about to be killed.”But the commandant then ordered for them to be set free saying if there were any more attacks he would destroy the village.The next morning, British soldiers arrived to liberate the village.”When the British came we cried tears of joy and embraced them. It was such a relief.” Gabriella met Captain Peter Ezra, of the Middlesex Regiment, while working as a translator in the Mayor’s office in Mestre, outside Venice, in 1946. They married in Venice in 1949 and moved to Hove, where she worked as a language coach. Capt Ezra died in 2005.She was greeted as a hero when she first returned to the village 25 years ago, with a meal laid out on the square in her honour.She said: “I was showing my daughter around the village when a man spotted me and said ‘oh my goodness it’s Gabriella’.”They made a meal for me in the square. They said they were very pleased to see me because I had saved the village.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.