LIVESTREAM: Prague Black Panthers @Dacia Vienna Vikings, Sunday, March 24, 4:15p CEST (11:15a EDT)

The game everyone has been waiting for in in Europe and which was postponed last week, is now set for  Sunday, March 24 as the Dacia Vienna Vikings will play host to the reigning Czech champions,the Prague Black Panthers in Austrian Football League action.

Former ETSU Quarterback Austin Herink at the Dacia Vikings Practice Facility Photo: Hannes Jirgal

The game was originally scheduled for last week, was postponed due to field conditions.

Although there were doubts about what the Vikings would do about their open quarterback position, those doubts were quashed a couple of weeks ago with the arrival of 23-year old Austin Herink just in time for the 2019 season kickoff. The quarterback from East Tennessee State University has had an extra week’s practice and is ready to hit the field.

American Football International asked Austin how he found out about playing in Europe and a familiar name popped up.

AH: I happened to hear Cody Hawkins on a podcast so I phoned him up. He explained about playing in Europe and advised me to set up an account on Europlayers which I did. I head a few hits but then Cody called me up about a month ago mentioning the Vikings. Everything went fast after that and here I am.

AFI: What did you family think?

AH: Well although I am the only child, my parents were excited for me getting this opportunity.

AFI: Who do you pattern yourself after as a quarterback?

AH: I like Tom Brady. His mechanics and the way he studies the game are amazing. I also think that Aaron Rodgers is maybe the best passer of all time. If you are talking about football in general, I am a great admirer of coach Mike Leach and I have read all of his books.

Vikings burning for the upcoming season

Along with Herink, Austrian QB #14 Yannick Mayr is ready for opening weekend. Both playmakers are in great shape for the start of the season against the Panthers. The Vikings have been preparing for the 2019 season and have worked hard to get where they are. New to the Vikings rosters is DB and safety Dustin Rivas from Colorado Mesa University. He will join the returning MVPs including WR #4 Bernhard Seikovits, Safety #32 Luis Horvath, and DL #1 Leon Balogh. Last season, Horvath recorded a total of 7 interceptions while Balogh had 15 sacks on the season. Both led the Austrian Football League in these categories.

Vikings Head Coach Chris Calaycay:

“We are looking forward to the start of the season and now, more than ever, can hardly wait for the kickoff against the Panthers. A warm welcome back to the AFL to the Black Panthers.”

AFL Rookie Of The Year 2017 und Vikings Offense MVP 2018 – WR Bernhard Seikovits / Foto © Hannes Jirgal

The Panthers are back

The Panthers are back to back Czech series champions with eight titles in a row. Relying on All American quarterback Dylan Potts, the team is hoping to make a successful comeback to the AFL. Potts previously played for the Mödling  Rangers and Danube Dragons, where he had the reputation of being able to take over a game, which was true against the Vikings last season. There are more overseas members joining the Panthers this season, DB and LB positions Matt Vinal and Herbert Gamboa. With head coach Daniel Levy along with offensive line coach Michael Chevalier and defensive line coach James Brooks, the Black Panthers will definitely be a team to watch.

The Dacia Vikings beat the Black Panthers last time the two teams faced each other in 2016. © Hannes Jirgal

Thanks to the AFL deal with the national broadcaster ORF, the game can be watched on TV as well as online via livestream

Watch the game live here. Prague Black Panthers @Dacia Vikings,Sunday, March 24, 4:15p CEST (11:15a EDT)

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!