The Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants surprised football experts across Europe Saturday, upsetting the previously unbeaten Swarco Raiders 22-21 in overtime in front of a cheering home crowd at ASKÖ Stadion Eggenberg in Graz, Austria.
Entering the game, the Raiders had been 4-0 in Austrian league play and 8-0 overall, winning two games in the Big6 and another two in the Battle4Tirol series. A month ago, the Raiders had blanked the Giants 31-0.
So this was sweet revenge for Graz who had not beaten Swarco in Austria in 13 attempts. The Giants now sit right behind Swarco in the Austrian standings in third place with both teams sporting 4-1 records.
Quarterback Christoph Gubisch threw two touchdowns passes and ran one in himself in the win. He tossed a two-point conversion pass to Clint Floyd in overtime with Swarco leading 21-20 to seal the victory. Receivers Klaus Geier and Max Herdey had one touchdown reception apiece for the jubilant Giants.
For the Raiders, quarterback Sean Shelton completed 21 of 35 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns, the final one on Swarco‘s first overtime possession. Running back Tobias Bonatti, replacing starter Sandro Platzgummer who was hurt after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter, carried the ball 13 times for 68 yards while wide receiver Christian Willi caught 7 passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Roni Salonen led the Raiders with eight tackles.