Dacia Vienna Vikings, Swarco Raiders advance to Austrian Bowl XXXIV

The two protagonists from 2017, and the two most successful teams in Austrian Football League history, the Dacia Vienna Vikings and Swarco Raiders, have advanced to the Austrian championship game, Austrian Bowl XXXIV after winning their semifinal games. The Vikings defeated the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants while Swarco downed the Danube Dragons.

Dacia Vienna Vikings 35 – Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants 21

Photo: MemStudio

The Vikings took care of business against the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants buyscoring 21 first quarter points and then rolling to a 35-21 victory. Swarco took a 28-14 halftime lead against the Danube Dragons and never let up in the second half to roll to a 49-21 win.

In Vienna, quarterback Garrett Safron was back to full strength following his midseason injury, and threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 65 yards. Receiver Reece Horn caught six passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns while Bernhard Seikovits caught four for 66 yards and a touchdown. Ugochukwu Uwakwe also scored on a pick six in the first quarter.

Giants quarterback Robert Gallick threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns with Thomas Torte and Christopher Mangge catching touchdown passes. Matthias Kiegerl scored a rushing touchdown.

The Vikings roared out to a 21-0 first quarter lead on touchdowns by Seikovits, Uwakwe and Horn. Graz reduced the lead to 21-7 on Mangge’s touchdown but Safron connected with Horn for an 18 yard touchdown to give Vienna a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Kiegerl scored to narrow the lead to 28-14 at halftime.

The Vikings added another touchdown late in the third quarter as Safron found Horn again to extend it to 35-14. Then the Vikings defense kept Graz in check, including making a goal line stand late in the third quarter. Gallick finally threw a touchdown pass to Torte midway through the fourth quarter and late in the game drove his team down to the Vienna 11 yard line. But that was it.

The Vikings are headed to their 23rd Austrian Bowl looking for their 15th title.

Swarco Raiders 49 – Danube Dragons 21

Swarco Raiders WR Patrick Donahue Photo: Bernhard Hörtnagl www.fhb-photo

In Swarco’s win over Danube  marked the  ninth time in 10 years that the Raiders have advanced to the Austrian final.

The Raiders also took a 28-14 lead at the half against Danube on first half  touchdowns by Tobias Bonatti (2), Filip Vlajic and quarterback Sean Shelton. The Dragons battled back as Chad Jeffries threw touchdown passes to Felix Reisacher and Austin Barron.

Jeffries brought his team closer to open the second half  with a 34 yard touchdown pass to Phillip Haun.

However, leading 28-21, Shelton and the Raiders offense responded with touchdown passes to Adrian Platzgummer and Patrick Donahue to pull out to a 42-21 lead entering the fourth.

Danube threatened again reaching the Raiders 15 yard line midway through the fourth quarter but Vincent Müller picked off Jeffries in the end zone, snuffing out the drive. Shelton then marched Swarco down to the Dragons 10 yard line and found Donahue for his second touchdown and sealing the win.

This will be the seventh time these two teams have faced each other in the Austrian final since 2011.

 

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