LIVESTREAM Austria: Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants @ SsangYong Danube Dragons, March 28, 14:00 CET (08:00 am ET)

Football Sundays are back in Austria as the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants will take on the SsangYong Danube Dragons in the opening weekend of play in the Austrian Football League.

The Graz Giants head into 2021 after a shortened and delayed 2020 pandemic season which saw them lose a best of five championship series 3-0 to the Dacia Vienna Vikings to decide the Austrian title.

The Giants squad is looking to solidify itself as an Austrian bowl contender after losing that series in 2020 and being eliminated from the playoffs in 2019. Head Coach Martin Kocian has returned to lead Graz , and has brought in a new quarterback, Conor Miller, formerly of Florida Atlantic University (NCAA DI FBS) who most recently played for the Cologne Crocodiles (German Football League) in 2019.

Miller on the matchup with the Dragons:

“Our goal is to go 1-0 every week. Take care of the things we can control. They are a good team, very disciplined, fundamentally sound, and well coached team. It’s gonna be a challenge for sure. We have been working very hard! Our focus is to go 1-0 against the Dragons!”

Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants @ SsangYong Danube Dragons, March 28, 14:00 CET (08:00 am ET)

Miller will rely on former Azusa Pacific (NCAA DII) receiver Darrell Adams, who spent time last year with the Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) after a stellar college career. Miller will also have veteran Graz wideout Johannes Schutz at his disposal. The run game will feature German running back Lars Kozlowski who formerly played in Bavaria for the Nurnberg Rams and Ingolstadt Dukes.

On the defensive side, the Giants have signed former University of Toledo (NCAA DI) and Arena Football League defensive back Juwan Haynes. Hayes joins a defense led by veteran linebacker Thomas Schnurrer. Schnurrer was the AFL’s leading tackler back in 2019 with 79 total stops.

Head coach Stefan Pokorny returns for his fifth season at the helm of the SsangYong Danube Dragons. Another familiar face will be quarterback Chad Jeffries who is returning for his third season as the Dragons starter. In 2019, the Azusa Pacific (NCAA DII) product threw for 2,824 yards and 32 touchdowns. The Dragons have also signed quarterback Alexander Thury, an experienced Austrian quarterback with starting seasons in Sweden, Germany and Austria.

Jeffries on the on the start of the AFL season:

“After a full season off we are really excited to get back out on the field; even if the fans won’t be allowed in the stands. Being forced to seat out a full year really fuels the fire and has the Dragons pumped up to play again!”

 The Dragons offense will also feature massive 6’3″, 240 pound running back Byron Rhone who scored nine touchdowns in 2019. Danube has brought back wide receivers Felix Reisacher and Phillip Haun, who combined for 18 touchdowns in 2019.

Defensively, the Dragons squad will return their two leading tacklers in defensive lineman Bernard Mosor and defensive back Florian Albrecht. The two defenders will be responsible holding the defense together on the line and in the secondary. Albrecht had three interceptions, nine pass breakups, and 40 tackles in his last season in Danube. Meanwhile, Mosor is one of the better pass rushers in Austria and will certainly have an impact in this game.

Look for both teams to play well as the Dragons return with familiar faces against a new look Graz team.

Watch the game live here. Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants @ SsangYong Danube Dragons, March 28, 14:00 CET (08:00 am ET)

Danube Dragons roster (Click image to enlarge)

Graz Giants roster (Click image to enlarge)

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and