Austria: Dacia Vienna Vikings capture 3rd straight win to stay unbeaten along with Dragons and Black Panthers

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, and it took until the final minute of play to decide, but the Dacia Vienna Vikings squeaked by the Salzburg Ducks 14-13 this past weekend to win their third straight game to remain undefeated in Austrian Football League play.

Vikings kicker Maurice Wappl booted the extra point following Devontae Jordan’s game-tying, come-from-behind touchdown with a minute and 12 seconds left in the game to secure the crucial victory.

Until that moment, the Ducks had been in the driver’s seat since taking the lead on the last play of the first half.

It was the Vikings who struck first though after Noa Calaycay pounced on a fumble by Salzburg quarterback Kristopher Denton at midfield. Two plays later quarterback Nico Hrouda hit wideout Fabian Eder for a 57-yard gain down to the Salzburg one yard line and Jordan punched the ball in late in the first quarter to give Vienna a 7-0 lead following Wappl’s PAT.

This was not a toothless Ducks team though, despite their winless record. Early in the second period, Denton engineered a seven-play, 70-yard scoring drive, capped by a two-yard touchdown by running back David Warnung. Kicker Maximilian Reuter tied the game at 7-7.

Photo: Andreas Bischof

On the next Vienna possession, Jordan made his only mistake, fumbling the ball at the Ducks 34-yard line and Denton & co made him pay. The Salzburg signal caller orchestrated a 14-play, 66-yard drive eating up almost five minutes with running back Jacob Schmidt bulling his way in from the one to give the Ducks the lead 13-7 going into the break. However, Reuter’s missed PAT would prove fateful.

The second half turned into a defensive stalemate as neither team could move the ball effectively until late in the third quarter when Salzburg mounted a 15-play drive starting from their own two-yard line which lasted over eight minutes. But on a fourth and goal at the Vikings three-yard line, Stefan Niebler missed a 21-yard field goal attempt and Vienna took over on their own 20 with five minutes left in the game. This time, Hrouda made no mistake, marching his team 80 yards in four minutes, handing off to Jordan who scored a four-yard touchdown. Wappl did not miss and with a minute left, Vienna had the lead.

Six plays later, Calaycay forced another turnover, his second, of the game, picking off Denton, and Vienna began celebrating.

Other scores

In other action in the Austrian Football League, the Danube Dragons improved their record to 4-0 with a decisive 42-14 win over the Mödling Rangers.

Danube Dragons defense corralling Mödling Rangers ball carrier Photo: Alexander Forst

The Traun Steelsharks got their first win of the season in surprising the Tirol Raiders, beating them 28-24, while the Telfs Patriots downed the Znojmo Knights 12-9. Finally, the Prague Black Panthers also remained undefeated with a 31-19 win over the Graz Giants. 

Traun ball carrier bulling his way forward in win over Tirol Raiders Photo: Zisi

With that, three teams top the standings with unblemished records. The Danube Dragons sit first at 4-0 while the Prague Black Panthers and Vienna Vikings are both 3-0.

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