Germany Outlasts Austria in Amazing Double OT Thriller; Win European Crown in American Football!

Neither team could find a rhythm as Gross was  intercepted by Mark Scherenberg at the German 46 with seven minutes left in the quarter. Marco Ehrenfried seemed to find his arm again though, and took Germany to Austria’s 30 before his pass into the end zone was picked off by Benjamin Bubik and Austria took over at their own 20.

This time Gross made no mistakes, guiding Austria on an 11-play, six minute drive and at the 10:42 mark Phillip Margreiter capped it off with a one yard touchdown run. Gross then scored on a two-point conversion attempt making the score now 17-14 Austria with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Austria had now scored 17 unanswered points and the crowd sensed a momentum change. Germany’s next series ended in Ehrenfried’s third interception of the night and Austria took over at their own 45 yard line with eight and a half minutes to go.  They could not sustain the drive and after a feeble 29 yard punt, Germany, starting on their own 25, engineered  a 67 yard drive, including a wonderful  47 yard pass to Hilgenfeldt, culminating in a Hilgenfeldt 25 yard field goal to tie the score at 17-17 with four minutes left.

Neither team could move the ball after that and the game went into overtime. With each team having to start from the other’s 25 yard line, Germany was first and made it count as Dominic Hanselmann caught an 11 yard touchdown pass from Ehrenfried to make it 24-17 Germany. Austria was up next and on an amazing reverse wide receiver Stafani tossed the ball to a wide open quarterback Gross in the end zone to tie it again at 24-24.


In the second overtime, Austria was up next, but could not move the ball and had to settle for a field goal. Germany had a chance to settle it, and Ehrenfried went to work hitting his favorite receiver Hilgenfeldt for a 19 yard gain  From the Austrian four yard line Germany attempted to punch it in but at this point the referees, inexplicably, after a solid performance all game, decided to take the game into their own hands calling Austria for two unsportsmanlike penalties giving Germany the ball six times from within the two yard line. Finally, Marco Ehrenfried found Niklas Römer for a six-yard touchdown and Germany was again European champions.

It was a game for the ages, only marred by two penalty calls, leaving people throughout the world wondering, rather than rejoicing in the fantastic show put on by both teams.

Germany, thus defends their European American Football Championship from 2010 in dramatic fashion. Austria, now a power in Europe,  should be proud of their performance as a team and as hosts of a marvelous tournament. The  six teams in the tournament played 15 games in the space of eight days and gave the wonderful Austrian crowds a tournament to be remembered.

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Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.