Raiffeisen Vienna Vikings Win Austria Bowl XXX in Overtime

Vikings Outlast Innsbruck’s Swarco Raiders 24-17 in tightly contested match!

In the first overtime in Austrian Bowl history, the Vienna Vikings eked out a 24-17 victory over arch rivals the Swarco Raiders with a an enthusiastic crowd looking on in St. Pölten, Austria. This is the 13th time the Vikings have hoisted the cup, and the third in a row against Swarco.

The Vikings opened the game tentatively though, failing to convert a fourth and one at the Raider 44. A costly turnover. Swarco quarterback John Van den Raadt and national team running back Andreas Hofbauer time and again found the soft spots in the Vikings defensive line until Van den Raadt found Clemens Erslbacher wide open in the end zone for a 12 yard touchdown. Erslbacher also added the extra point giving Swarco a 7-0 lead.

Clemens Erslbacher

The Vikings struggled again on offense as quarterback Christoph Gross was having trouble finding his receivers. Vienna kicker Christopher Kappel ended up missing a 48 yard field goal handing Swarco decent field position again. This time the Vikings’ defense stiffened though and three plays later picked off Van den Raadt at the Raider 43 giving Vienna great field position.

It only took them four plays as Gross hit Laurinho Walch from 14 yards out to even the score at seven 7-7 with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Then on the ensuing Raiders drive, Van den Raadt fumbled the ball at midfield and again Vienna had a short field to work with. However, they didn’t need it as Gross threw to Stefan Postel for a 51 yard major and Vienna took the lead 14-7.

Then the Raiders, starting from their own 17 yard line, mounted a nine-play 83 yard drive culminating in a three-yard touchdown run by Clemens Erslbacher evening the score at 14-14. Neither team could move the ball well for the remainder of the first half and the score remained tied at the break.

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On Swarco’s first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Van den Raadt threw his third interception of the night and the Vikings capitalized driving the ball to the Raider 16 and Christopher Kappel kicked a 33 yard field goal to give Vienna the lead 17-14.

Taking the ball from their own 32, Swarco then methodically began marching the ball down the field with Van den Raadt and Hofbauer doing most of the damage. Finally stopped at the Viking 19, the Raiders looked to Clemens Erlsbacher again and he made no mistake kicking a 36 yard field goal and the game was tied again. By this time, Erlsbacher had accounted for all of Swarco’s points.

As the fourth quarter progressed, this became a stinging, physical defensive battle. Neither team could penetrate the red zone until the Raiders drove down to the Vikings seven yard line only to see Erlsbacher cough the ball up. Vienna could not capitalize and the half ended 17-17.

Austria Bowl XXX 2

But not before the referees had to make themselves visible tossing Viking defensive lineman #99 H. Zipfelmayer for accidentally bumping into one of the officials. This happened with seven seconds left in the national championship game and it could have been decisive had the Raiders been able to convert.

In overtime, the Vikings struck first as Gross finally found a rhythm hitting three of four passes until Islaam Amadu took the ball in from four yards out for the score. The Raiders could not respond and the Vikings earned their third title in a row winning 24-17.

MVP of the game was Vikings linebacker Paul Werner:

“I did not expect this honor. I think the award is a sign that we have put together a great defensive group.”

Leading rusher of the game was Raiders quarterback Johan Van den Raadt with 121 yards on 16 carries. Christoph Gross  of Vienna was 19 of 35 for 230 yards and two touchdowns.

Christoph Gross

Raiffeisen Vikings Head Coach Chris Calaycay:

“We had ups and downs this year the pressure was a little on us, we were the slight favorite. Therefore all the more happier I am about this victory.”

Swarco Raiders Head Coach Shuan Fatah:

This was a good game from both teams. We were confident we finally could beat Vikings, which makes it all the more painful.  At the end it was a few little things that made the difference. But I am proud of my team.”

Vienna Vikings quarterback Christoph Gross:

“We have made ​​some mistakes. Firstly, we have shown strength in the right moment, but also a lot of luck.”

GAME REPLAY

Watch the Full Replay of Austria Bowl XXX Here!

Photos via Herb Kratky & Florian Schellhorn

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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