Austria: Danube Dragons down Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants for first win

The Danube Dragons, 2018 Austrian semifinalists, took the first step to reaching the playoffs again in the Austrian Football League Sunday by narrowly defeating the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants 12-10 in Graz, Austria.

Danube quarterback Chad Jeffries struggled at times completing just 11 of 26 passes for 138 yards but one was for a touchdown to Philipp Haun. Reinhard Knaus kicked two field goals and a PAT while the defense forced a safety.

For Graz, quarterback Jake Kennedy threw for 208 yards but was picked off twice. Christopher Mangge kicked a field goal and a PAT while Alexander Sanz scored on a four yard plunge.

With neither team able to gain much momentum in the first quarter, Mangge accounted for the only scoring kicking a 26 yard field goal to give Graz a 3-0 lead. The Giants marched deep into Danube territory twice (8 & 12 yard line) but came away empty handed.

With three minutes to go in the second quarter, Jeffries engineered an eight-play, 40 yard drive down to the Giants eight yard line and then hit Haun for the go ahead touchdown giving Danube a 7-3 halftime lead.

The Dragons defense stepped up the pressure in the third quarter, trapping Sanz in the end zone for a safety, increasing their lead to 9-3.

Sanz redeemed himself four plays later, capping an 83 yard drive with a four yard touchdown, and Mangge added the extra point to give Graz the lead back, 10-9.

However, the Dragons responded as Jeffries drove his team down to the Graz 18 yard line on the very next possession and Knaus kicked a 35 yard field goal to start the fourth quarter to regain the lead, 12-10.

After that, neither team could move the ball effectively and Danube came away with an important road win.

In other action in Austria, the Swarco Raiders disposed of the Wienerwald Amstetten Thunder 48-7, while the SonicWall Mödling Rangers downed the Traun Steelsharks 52-31. The feature game of the day between the Dacia Vienna Vikings and Prague Black Panthers had to be postponed due to poor field conditions.

Feature photo: photowilfinger

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