Dacia Vienna Vikings beat Swarco Raiders in Austria’s “Battle of Titans”

The Dacia Vienna Vikings took full advantage of playing at home scoring first and staying ahead of the Swarco Raiders almost the entire game to come away with a 35-28 win at Hohe Warte Stadion in Vienna Sunday.

With a crowd of over 2,200 looking on in brilliant sunshine, Vienna relied on all facets of its game and simply made fewer mistakes.

Quarterback Garrett Safron led both teams in passing and rushing throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 111 yards and another touchdown. Receivers Bernhard Seikovits, Reece Horn, Maurice Wappl and Santino Schlimpert  all caught touchdown passes Christopher Kappel kicked two field goals and three extra points while Schlimpert  added a two-point conversion.

Raiders running back Tobias Bonatti scored three of Swarco’s four touchdowns hauling in two touchdown passes from Sean Shelton and rushing for another. Sandro Platzgummer also caught a touchdown pass and kicked an extra point. Shelton completed 12 of 21 passes for 201 yards and threw three touchdown passes.

Although Vienna held a huge edge in first downs, 27-13, and time of possession 30:57-17:03, the Raiders relied on big plays, especially passing plays to stay in the game.

The Vikings took an early 6-0 lead, dominating the first quarter, as Kappel kicked a pair of field goals. In fact, it wasn’t until the eight minute mark of the second quarter that Swarco’s offense could even muster a first down. Shelton finally got untracked though finding Bonatti for the first of his three touchdowns giving the Raiders a 7-6 lead.

Safron was playing superb football though capping a 72 yard drive with a 13 yard pass to Schlimbert to restore the lead for Vienna 13-7 which is how the first half ended.

After Fabian Seeber returned the Vikings second half kickoff to the Vienna 48 yard line, Bonatti silenced the crowd, finding a seam and racing all the way to the end zone, giving Swarco its second lead of the game, 14-13.

Safron wasted no time on the next Vikings possession, completing four straight passes, the last one a 26 yard touchdown strike to Seikovits and Vienna went back in front 20-14.

With the Vikings defense holding Swarco in check, Safron engineered another touchdown drive finishing it with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Wappel and Vienna extended the lead to 28-14 after a two-point conversion.

Shelton proved that no lead is safe as he caught the Vikings secondary napping finding Bonatta for a 74 yard touchdown pass, closing the gap to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter.

Safron restored the two touchdown lead, brilliantly leading Vienna on an eight-play, 69 yard drive which ate up three and a half minutes, scoring the touchdown himself from seven yards out making the score 35-21 with eight minutes left in the game.

Then Vikings defensive back Christoph Gombkötö picked off an errant Shelton pass and although the Raiders defense kept Vienna from gaining a first down for the first time in the game, it was not quite enough.

Shelton connected with Platzgummer for a 31 yard touchdown to narrow the lead to a touchdown again, 35-28, but that was as close as they would come. Safron and the Vikings offense played ball control and Vienna came away with the all important first win over their arch rivals.

These two teams face each other again on May 13, this time in Innsbruck.




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