Austria: Defending champion Danube Dragons open season with convincing win over Swarco Raiders

It took the reigning Austrian Football League champion Danube Dragons a full quarter of football to find their rhythm but two second quarter touchdowns sparked the offense enroute to a 23-7 victory over the Swarco Raiders this past weekend.

Following a scoreless first period, Danube quarterback Alex Thury found Lorenz Laggner in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter from three yards out to take a 6-0 lead. Two possessions later, the Dragons added another touchdown as Thury marched his team on a seven play, 51 yard drive capping it by handing off to running back Steve McShane who scored on a two yard plunge. They added the two-point conversion to go into the break up 14-0.

With just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and with the Danube offense struggling, McShane scored on a spectacular 44 yard punt return touchdown and after Uzay Nafile kicked the PAT, the Dragons took a comfortable 21-0 lead.

The Raiders finally got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter following a poor punt by the Dragons. Starting from midfield, running backs Tim Tonko and Benedikt Radauer marched the team down to the 11 yard line. On a second down, Tonko weaved his way into the end zone to narrow the gap to 21-7.

It was too little too late for the Raiders however as the Danube defense then trapped Raiders running back Stefan Schneider in his own end zone for a safety and the offense held onto the ball the rest of the way.

Next up for the Dragons is a 2023 Austrian Bowl rematch with the Vienna Vikings.

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