Austria: Dacia Vienna Vikings outlast Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants for 2nd straight win

The Dacia Vienna Vikings improved their record in the young season in Austria to 2-0 by using an overpowering first half to defeat the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants (0-1) 45-32 in Austrian Football League action in Graz.

Quarterback Garrett Safron proved that his excellent season with the Dresden Monarchs in Germany last year was not fluke as he was unstoppable. He completed 22 off 33 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns and then rushed for 109 and another two touchdowns. Wide receiver Bernhard Seikovits caught two touchdown passes while Reece Horn caught another. Running back Islaam Amadu rushed for a touchdown.

Vikings RB Florian Maier avoiding a tackle

Giants quarterback Brandon Gorsuch kept his team alive throwing four touchdown passes on 21 of 48 passing for 250 yards. Florian Bierbaumer caught 10 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns while Alexander Sanz caught the fourth scoring pass.

The Vikings ground game simply overwhelmed Graz racking up 189 yards and three touchdowns.

On Vienna’s first possession of the game, Safron led his team on a nine play, 75 yard, four minute drive capping it with a 25 yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.

Gorsuch responded after an Amadu fumble gave Graz the ball on the Vikings’ 45 yard line. Less than a minute later he hit Bierbaumer for a 19 yard touchdown evening the score at 7-7.

Again Safron took his team on a 75 yard touchdown drive, this time finishing it with a 23 yard pass to Seikovits to regain the lead, 14-7. A bungled kickoff gave Graz the ball on the Vikings 12 yard line and Gorsuch made no mistake finding Bierbaumer again but the two-point conversion failed and Vienna led 14-13 early in the second quarter.

Then things went downhill for the Giants as Vienna took advantage of a string of penalties including two pass interference calls and a costly facemask call as well as turnovers including an interception, to score three straight touchdowns in the second quarter.

Graz WR Florian Bierbaumer catching one of his 3 TDs

By the time halftime arrived, Vienna held a comfortable 35-13 lead.

Gorsuch came out firing in the third quarter, engineering a 46 yard drive which culminated with a 27 yard touchdown pass to Sanz, closing the gap to 35-20.

Safron replied, this time by playing a ball control offense which ate up more than five minutes on the clock and which ended with a Christopher Kappel field goal, extending the lead to 38-20.

Gorsuch was not done though. He marched the Giants on a 16 play, 61 yard drive with Sanz carrying the ball in from the one to creep closer, 38-26. However, he took over six valuable minutes off the clock. The Vikings got the ball back with nine minutes to go in the game and Safron simply continued to manage the clock, finally handing off to Amadu for an eight yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 45-26, but more importantly using up more than five minutes.

So with just over three minutes to go and faced with a 19 point deficit, Gorsuch and the Giants went back to work. But the Vikings defense kept them in check, never allowing anything deep. Graz finally scored with Bierbaumer hauling in his third touchdown pass of the day, but it left only 25 seconds on the clock. Vienna took a knee and took home a valuable victory.






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