Overtime Win for the Vikings !!!
This football weekend was a wild one,with the first ever overtime in Austrian Bowl history, the Vienna Vikings lasted in a shoot outwith a 24-17 victory over arch rival the Swarco Raiders. With a large an enthusiastic crowd looking on in St. Pölten. This is the 13th time the Vikings have hoisted the cup, and the third time in a row against the Raiders.
The Vikings opened the game tentatively though, failing to convert a fourth and one on the Raider 44 yardline. Raiders quarterback John Van den Raadt and national team star 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.
The Vikings again struggled on offense as quarterback Chris Gross was having trouble finding any of his receivers. Vikings kicker Christopher Kappel missed 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.
With only four plays 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.
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 ballwell for the remainder of the first half and the score remained tied at the break.
Swarco’s first play from scrimmage in the 3rd 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.
But not before the referees had to make themselves visible tossing Viking defensive lineman 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.