For the first time in three years, the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants found a way to defeat the Dacia Vienna Vikings, as they handed the Vikings a 36-14 loss on Easter Monday in Graz, Austria.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.
Graz forced thee Vienna turnovers in the first half and blocked a punt and added another turnover in the fourth quarter and the Giants capitalized on each miscue.
Giants quarterback Jake Kennedy threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns with Florian Bierbaumer, Philipp Sommer and Thomas Torta catching one each. Running back Alexander Sanz rushed for 49 yards and a touchdowns while Kennedy added a rushing touchdown of his own.
For Dacia Vienna, quarterback Austin Herink completed 18 of 34 passes for 206 yards and one touchdown but he had two passes picked off. Bernhard Seikovits had seven receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown while Islaam Amadu rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown.
After the Vikings, scored on their first possession with Seikovits hauling in a 25 yard pass from Herink, they then proceeded to hand the ball back to the Giants. First, Maurice Wappl fumbled on his own 46 yard line and the Giants recovered. Kennedy drove Graz down to the Vienna one yard line and Christopher Mangge kicked a field goal to close the gap to 6-3. Then Amadu fumbled on his own 18 yard line on the very next series and Sanz scored two plays later on a 10 yard scamper and the Giants took the lead, 9-6.
Two possessions later, Christof Promitzer intercepted a Herink pass, returning it to the Vikings 28 yard line. Kennedy wasted no time. He threw a 19 yard touchdown pass to Sommer two plays later and suddenly Graz held a 16-6 lead entering the second quarter. Another Giants drive ended in a Mangge field goal early in the second and Graz extended the lead to 19-6.
Vienna’s turnover woes continued as Graz blocked a punt at the Vikings 18 yard line. Kennedy then hit Bierbaumer for a six yard touchdown pass to give the Giants a 26-6 lead with four minutes left in the half.
Herink finally got the Vienna offense into gear, engineering a seven play, 65 yard drive, handing off to Amadu for a one yard touchdown plunge. After converting the two-point attempt, the Vikings had closed the gap to 26-14.
After Mangge hit a 23 yard field goal to open the scoring in the second half, the Giants picked off Herink again, with defensive back Anton Pscheider snagging the ball at his own 20 yard line. Kennedy drove the Giants down to the Vienna 24 yard line and then connected with Torta early in the fourth to push the lead out to 36-14.
And there it would stay as Graz played ball control offense while the defense kept the Vikings in check the rest of the way.
With the win, the Giants are fourth in the Austrian Football League standings behind the Swarco Raiders, Danube Dragons in second and the third place Mödling Rangers.The Vikings find themselves in the strange position of being fifth in the eight team league.