AFI’s Top 3 Games of the Decade: #3 – WATCH THE REPLAY – Austrian Bowl XXXIV: Swarco Raiders v. Dacia Vienna Vikings

Following a readers’ poll earlier this year, American Football International has selected the top three games of the decade in Europe.

Hundreds of readers voted through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email whittling the games down to the list of 20. There were some terrific games nominated and there have been a lot of incredible games played over the past 10 years in Europe that did not get nominated.

From that list we have now picked the Top 3 games. So  today, we present the number three choice, Austrian Bowl XXXIV, played on July 21, 2018. Our thanks to everyone who voted. We have randomly selected Kovacs Balint from Hungary from all those who voted for this game as the winner of an AFI cap. Congratulations!

The game saw the Swarco Raiders and Dacia Vienna Vikings square off in a classic thriller that went right down to the wire with the Swarco Raiders outlasting the Dacia Vienna Vikings, beating them 51-48 in front of 5,500 fans in St. Pölten, Austria to win Austrian Bowl XXXIV.

Thomas Pichlmann kicked the game-winning field goal with three seconds left giving Swarco its fifth Austrian title ever and third since 2015.

Swarco, coached by Shuan Fatah had entered the game with all star quarterback Sean Shelton the 3rd leading passer in Austria with 2,594 yards and a league best 34 TD passes. For Vienna, Garrett Safron had thrown for 1,878 yards and 28 touchdowns after missing a number of games.

Going into the game, the leading receiver for the Vikings was Reece Horn with 46 catches for 723 yards and 15 touchdowns. Patrick Donahue led Swarco catching 27 passes for 614 yards and eight touchdowns. Safron led his team in rushing with 669 yards while Sandro Platzgummer was the top rusher for Swarco with 588 yards.

These were the two leading defensive teams in the Austrian Football League in 2018. The Raiders allowed 20.9 points a game while Vienna gave up 23.4.

In the two meetings between the two teams in 2018, Vienna won the first encounter 35-28 early in the season. The Raiders handed Vienna a lopsided 55-13 defeat later in the year but the Vikings were without the services of starting quarterback Garrett Safron at the time.

The Vikings took care of business against the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants in the Austrian semifinals by scoring 21 first quarter points and then rolling to a 35-21 victory.

The Raiders defeated the Danube Dragons in their semifinal. Swarco took a 28-14 halftime lead against the Dragons and never let up in the second half to roll to a 49-21 win.

So sit back and enjoy one of the most thrilling and best played games of the past decade in Europe.

AFI’s Top 3 Games of the Decade:

#3 – WATCH THE REPLAY – Austrian Bowl XXXIV: Swarco Raiders v. Dacia Vienna Vikings

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