ELF: Vienna Vikings stay unbeaten after nail-biting victory over Barcelona Dragons

The Vienna Vikings downed the Barcelona Dragons 27-20 in a fourth-quarter comeback win to leave them as the last remaining undefeated team in the European League of Football.

With plenty of deserved hype surrounding this battle of the undefeated, expectations were high and neither team disappointed. Both sides exhibited why they were sitting at 5-0 at times, but it came down to an apparent Barcelona defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

The game began with Barcelona quarterback Zach Edwards pushing the field early, connecting with his big tight end Igor Mašlanka. This drive stalled however and forced the Dragons to settle for a 29-yard Giorgio Tavecchio field goal putting them up 3-0.

Vienna Vikings RB Anton Wegan Photo: Hannes Jirgal

It was the Vikings who found the end zone first though with a 12-play, 82-yard drive which saw heavy doses of running backs Exavier Edwards and Anton Wegan.

The Dragons then took back control and maintained the upper hand for the following two quarters though, with Zach Edwards showing why he may just be the best quarterback in the league. He consistently found Washington State alumnus Kyle Sweet who gashed the Vikings secondary to finish the game with 136 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Another field goal late in the third gave the Dragons a seemingly insurmountable 20-8 lead going into the final quarter. But just when the Vikings needed an impact play the most, standout Austrian linebacker Thomas Schnurrer provided them one in the way of a forced fumble.

This excellent field position gave the Vikings the life they needed as they then proceeded to put up three unanswered touchdowns. Poor tackling, a breakdown in coverage and great individual effort from the Vikings wideouts led to two touchdowns in quick succession to bring the two sides level.

Barcelona QB Zach Edwards Photo: Hannes Jirgal

And on a third and twenty, with 1.30 to go, Vienna’s Italian receiver Jordan Bouah shocked the Dragons secondary with a 90-yard touchdown bomb from Jackson Erdmann. This bewildering breakdown in the Barcelona secondary gave the Vikings the lead and ultimately the win.

The defensive breakdown was the overt cause of the Dragons loss, but a disappointing three points in the second half for their offense was equally as detrimental. The Vikings’ desire to play for all four quarters allowed them to stay within striking distance of the Dragons up until the end and ultimately earn the league’s top spot.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.