The Dacia Vienna Vikings looked every bit the defending Austrian champions that they are in routing the Mödling Rangers 41-7 Saturday as the Austrian Football League kicked off the 2021 season.
The Vikings jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead, extending it to 27-7 by the half and then cruised to the win in the second half.
New Vienna quarterback Eystin Salum was an efficient 12 of 16 for 128 yards passing while rushing for three touchdowns all in the opening period. Running back Florian Wegan rushed for 92 yards while teammate Max Frank had 43. Wide receiver Maurice Wappl had five catches for 50 yards while Rudolf-Fabian had four for 28 and one score. As a team, Vienna racked up 308 yards of offense compared to 160 for the Rangers.
Vienna’s defense sacked the Ranger’s quarterbacks five times to go along with countless hurries. Leon Balogh accounted for two of the sacks while Marvin Wappl, Nikolaus Plenert and Maximilian Müllner added one each.
Mödling running back Austin Micci proved that he will be an asset this season rushing 25 times for 133 yards and his team’s lone touchdown. Teammate Benjamin Formann rushed for 29 yards on three carries while starting quarterback Benjamin Bräuer threw for a mere 25 yards. Formann added another 15 yards on 2 for 8 passing. That’s how fierce the Vikings pass rush was.
The Vienna defense set the tone early, forcing the Rangers to punt on the game’s opening drive. The ball ended up on the Mödling 45 yard line and Salum wasted no time, driving his team down to the three yard line in four plays and then taking the ball in himself for the game’s opening touchdown.
An Austin Micci fumble on the very next Rangers drive gave Vienna the ball at the Modling 31 yard line. Five plays later, Salum scampered in from one yard out to up the score to 14-0.
Another weak Rangers punt, this one only seven yards, put the ball on Mödling’s 45 yard line and Salum wasted no time again. It took only five plays for him to find the end zone, carrying the ball in from the eight yard line and the score with two minutes left in the first quarter was 21-0,
Micci finally came untracked late in the first quarter carrying the ball four times for 68 yards scoring on a 39 yard touchdown to reduce the lead to 21-7.
Vienna responded. First, Benjamin Straight returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Rangers 45 yard line. Salum marched his team down to the three yard line, completing four of four passes and then handed off to Florian Wegan for the touchdown.
Leading 27-7, the Vikings opened the second half with another big kickoff return as Straight again proved his worth taking the ball down to the Mödling 43 yard line. Again Salum looked impressive engineering a five-play, 43 yard touchdown drive with Wegan doing most of the damage carrying the ball three times finishing with a 26 yard touchdown run.
Vienna added another third quarter touchdown as backup quarterback Nico Hrouda tossed a four yard pass to Rudolf-Fabian Lee Frey in the end zone to up the score to 41-7.
The fourth quarter saw the Rangers in Vienna territory three times but coming up short every time while, with many of the backups in, the Vikings did not advance past their own 45 yard line.
Vikings head coach Chris Calaycay was satisfied with his team’s performance:
“It’s really great to have the entire league together and playing football again. This game showed us where we are right now. We won the game thanks to our physicality and balance in all positions. “
Mödling head coach Josiah Cravalho:
“The result is not ideal, but I’m proud of our team. We fought hard until the very end and many of our players played extremely well. When we lost two starting receivers and our starting quarterback, we lacked the depth to keep up.”