Dacia Vienna Vikings tangle with Danube Dragons on road back to Austrian Bowl

The Dacia Vienna Vikings are aiming to reach the Austrian final for a a record 23rd time Sunday, after a two-year absence, when they take on the Danube Dragons at Stadion Hohe Warte in Vienna.

The Vikings have won the Austrian Bowl a record 13 times, but have not raised the trophy since 2014 and made their last appearance in the final two years ago. Danube won the Austrian Bowl in 2010 in their lone appearance in the final.

Vienna enters the game as the heavy favorites. The Vikings finished the regular season in first place with a 9-1 record and will be facing a Danube team who wound up fifth with a 4-6 record and who needed an upset in the wild card playoff against the Graz Giants to make it to the semis.

The Vikings whipped Danube three weeks ago, in the last regular season game of the year, 62-22. But they have not played since then while the Dragons are coming off a stirring 28-21 win over Graz last week.

Nevertheless, Vienna had the highest scoring offense in Austria averaging 50.1 points a game  while the defense was the stingiest giving up 174 points in 10 games. The Dragons on the other hand scored 363 total points while allowing 333.

Vikings quarterback Kevin Burke throw for 2,990 yards and 36 touchdowns during the 2017 season, good for second overall in the league. Danube’s Dylan Potts was fifth completing 180 of 314 passes for 2,344 yards and 30 touchdowns. But Potts was also the leading rusher in Austria rushing for 1,324 yards and 21 touchdowns. Alexander Hertel led the Vikings in rushing with 628 yards.

Safety Jack Moro led the Danube defense recording 54.5 tackles during the season while Vienna did not have a single player in the top 20 in tackles on a swarming defense that allowed the fewest yards (3,160) and points (174).

Can Danube carry the momentum of their wild card win over the Graz Giants and catch the Vikings by surprise? Or will Vienna have used their three weeks off well to prepare for a return to the title game?




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