Dacia Vienna Vikings beat Danube Dragons, advance to Austrian Bowl XXXIII

The Dacia Vienna Vikings have returned to the Austrian Bowl after a two year absence following  a thrilling 21-18 win over the surprising Danube Dragons Sunday in Vienna.

With the win, the Vikings advance to the Austrian Bowl for a record 23rd time where they will face arch rivals and defending champions, the Swarco Raiders. Vienna has won the title 13 times but the Raiders have won the last two.

Vienna quarterback Kevin Burke was efficient, completing 15 of 21 passes for only 137 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 64 yards and another touchdown. Dominik Bundschu caught one touchdown pass while Stefan Postel caught the other. Bernhard Seikovits kicked all three extra points.

Dylan Potts threw for 161 yards and two touchdowns for the Dragons and Jack Moro, playing both ways for Danube, caught both. Potts also gained 60 yards on the ground. Reinhard Knaus kicked a field goal for Danube as well as an extra point. Matthias Rebl scored on a two-point conversion.

Vienna opened the scoring following an excellent 12-play, five-minute long, 65 yard drive engineered by Burke, who capped it with an eight yard touchdown pass to Postel. Sekovits kicked the extra point and the Vikings led 7-0.

Then Vienna recovered a Moro fumble on the very next series and it looked as if the Vikings would march to another score.

That is when the game changed.

The Dragons defense held them to 15 yards and forced a short punt. Although Danube did not score, both teams knew this was not going to be another walkover for Vienna.

Danube finally got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter on a Knaus field goal and the Dragons defense kept playing superb football, keeping the highest scoring offense in the league in check and holding them to seven points in the first half.

Danube went into the locker room trailing 7-3 at half time.

However, the Vikings finished first for a reason and after getting a stop, Bruke went to work marching his team on another clock-eating drive, this time 12 plays and 97 yards in 5:15, finishing with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Bundschu extending the lead to 14-3.

Potts responded on the very next possession, driving his team 78 yards in 10 plays and connecting with Moro for the score. With a two-point conversion by Rebl, Danube pulled to within three, 14-11 with nine minutes left in the game.

Vienna replied with Burke capping a 55 yard drive with a touchdown of his own pulling further ahead, 21-11. And still Potts and the Dragons were not done. With just over five minutes remaining, he led them down the field and found Moro for his second touchdown and Danube closed the gap to 21-18 with a little more than three minutes left.

However, Danube chose not to try an onside kick and once Vienna had the ball, head coach Chris Calaycay did a masterful job of time management, not giving up possession again and running out the clock to claim the win.

The Vikings will play the Swarco Raiders in Austrian Bowl XXXIII July 29. Swarco defeated the Ljubljana Silverhawks to reach their eighth straight finals appearance.


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