The Swarco Raiders and Dacia Vienna Vikings will face each other today, Saturday, June 29 in an all-Austrian Euro Final of the ECTC and CEFL tournaments at Innsbruck’s Tivoli Stadium.
The Vikings emerged winners of the ECTC, European Club Team Competition which started with a total of 13 teams from 11 different countries – Austria, France, Sweden, Serbia, Finland, Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Poland – and has now been whittled down to two.
Vienna’s road to the ECTC Final saw them defeat the Badalona Dracs from Barcelona, Spain 38-8. They had soundly defeated Denmark’s Triangle Razorbacks in the opening game of the tournament. With that victory, the Vikings won the ECTC Central Division.
The Vikings were to have faced the Helsinki Roosters, winners of the Northern European Football League crown, to decide the ECTC final, but Helsinki was unable to play in the final leaving the Vikings with a walkover.
Swarco qualified for the final by winning the CEFL, Central European Football League championship. This was their third straight CEFL title but it was hard fought in the end. They needed a late-game rally to defeat the Calanda Broncos 46-42 in CEFL Bowl XIV. They had previously defeated France’s Thonon Black Panthers who they dominated 41-7. They manhandled the Milano Seamen from Italy, 50-23.
The two teams have faced each other twice already this season with the Raiders prevailing in both games, 48-28 and then in the Charity Bowl in which Swarco downed Dacia Vienna 34-13 and have finished atop the Austrian Football League standings.
Both teams have playmakers. Swarco quarterback Sean Shelton leads an explosive offense with a cast including RBs Sandro Platzgummer and Tobias Bonatti who leads the team in rushing, WRs Patrick Donahue, Fabian Abfalter and Adrian Platzgummer give Shelton plenty of targets.
For Vienna, QB Austin Herink has been outstanding and with Andrew Spencer now growing into the role of starting RB, the offense is beginning to click. Spencer tops the team and the league with an average of 12 yards a carry. WRs Bernhard Seikovits and Maurice Wappl lead a group of talented receivers.
Although the odds favor the Raiders, this is a championship final and anything can happen.