LIVESTREAM CEFL: Dacia Vienna Vikings @ Swarco Raiders, May 29, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

The Swarco Raiders (4-1) will host the Dacia Vienna Vikings (6-0) in today’s semifinal of the Central European Football League.

In the opening round quarterfinals, Swarco downed Italy’s Milano Seamen 41-14 while the Vikings handed the Kragujevac Wild Boars an 82-7 pummeling.

These two teams have already produced a classic football game this season as the Vikings squeaked out a 31-24 overtime win in Vienna, as part of the Austrian Football League schedule. Look for today’s game to be another competitive classic between two great teams.

For the Swarco Raiders, their April 24th loss to the Vikings came after barely failing to convert an overtime fourth down. The Raiders head into this game with a potent passing offense lead by veteran quarterback Sean Shelton. Look for the experienced signal caller to use his legs in the red zone and target receiver Marco Schneider often. The 20-year-old Schneider has been one of the breakout stars of the Austrian Football League this season scoring six touchdowns in five games. Out of the backfield, running back Tobias Bonatti provides toughness and speed to give the offense another dimension. The Raiders will need an efficient game from their offense as turnovers held them back in their last matchup with the Vikings.

Dacia Vienna Vikings @ Swarco Raiders, May 29, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

Quarterback Sean Shelton talked about the team’s mindset heading into the game:

“We feel good. I think we really turned a corner as a team against Milan and played with great energy and poise. So now the challenge is, will we be to be able to carry that momentum into this weekends game.”

Defensively, the Raiders will be facing a Vikings offense that currently sits atop the league, averaging over 200 rushing yards per game. The Raiders defense is led by All-Europe linebacker AJ Wentland who should be well rested and ready to play against a Vikings offense that favors the ground game. In the secondary, Vincent Müller’s play will be vital in containing the Vikings passing attack.

Wentland commented on the rivalry rematch with Vienna:

“The team is very excited about this game and our preparation started immediately after the last win against Milan. The guys are all very motivated and feel as if this is a redemption game from the last time we saw them. We feel like we are much stronger as a team from when we saw them last time, with a few key starters back in our lineup and young guys really stepping up and playing good football. It will be big to see them at our house in front of fans as well.”

The Dacia Vienna Vikings enter this game after an exciting 42-35 overtime win last week against the Graz Giants in the AFL. In that game, their defense struggled to contain the Graz’s playmakers in the first half. Fans should expect Vienna’s secondary to play better as defensive backs Luis Horvarth and Benjamin Straight aim to step up against a dangerous Raiders offense. At the line of scrimmage, expect defensive end Leon Balogh to be factor in this one. The former AFL defensive player of the year is leading the league with seven sacks in only five games.

Balogh commented on the Vikings and Raiders rivalry.

“We are looking forward to play the Raiders at their home field! They have been unbeaten there for a long time and we planning to bring this to an end and take the next step to win the title.

“We haven’t changed our preparation for any other game. We’ve played them the most of any team in the past few years and know exactly what they doing. Our team is young and hungry and I can speak for everyone that we will give our all to beat them for the second time this year. I personally love to play the Raiders, they are a really good team. That makes it easier for me to read them. It’s just another feeling playing them, more speed, better technique, and harder football. It’s going to be a great game to watch!”

The Vikings offense was the Eystin Salum show last week. The dual threat quarterback totaled 275 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air, while adding another 98 yards and two scores on the ground. Salum’s quickness make this Vikings’ offense tough to stop, especially in the red zone and short yardage situations. Look for running back Florian Wegen to play well again this week as he ran for 105 yards and a touchdown against Graz. Fans should expect for either receiver Mitchell Paige or running back Andrew Spencer to contribute on offense as well against a tough Raiders defense.

Vikings quarterback Eystin Salum commented on preparing for a well coached Raiders team:

“Our attitude is the same every week. Prepare to go 1-0. This being a playoff game it’s do or die. Although we are facing a team we have played this year, it will be a different team on the field as they have added some new players for this tournament. I love the grit and championship DNA our club has displayed so far this season. We take everyday and practice and use it as an opportunity to get better. This is the attitude that has brought us to where we are so far and we must continue to strive for excellence to achieve our goals for this season.”

This game represents the latest chapter in the long book of rivalry games between these two clubs. This time, a win means a chance to play either the Swiss champion Calanda Broncos or the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns in the Central European Football League championship game on June 26. Not to mention bragging rights until the next time these two powerhouses meet.

Watch the game live here. Dacia Vienna Vikings @ Swarco Raiders, May 29, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

Swarco Raiders roster

Dacia Vienna Vikings roster

 

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.