Austrian team take decisive victory over Serbia in European Championship
Austria RB Florian Wegan rushed for 104 yards and 2 TDs Photo: GEPA David Bitzan
The penultimate weekend of the IFAF European Championship saw Team Austria gain a dominant 48-6 victory over Serbia.
With the victory, Austria will now face Team Denmark to decide on the fifth place of the European Championships.
Austria set the tone early and never let go. On the opening piece, Dacia Vienna Vikings running back Florian Wegan was let loose, tearing the Serbian defense for 24 yards. Quarterback Alexander Thury (Danube Dragons) continued to push the team down with two timing routes before Wegan kicked the ball out of it and the home team took a 7-0 lead.
This was the first in a series of textbook collections for Austria resulting in scores.
Serbian quarterback Andrej Tasic came out in slingshot but his receivers struggled to hold the ball back resulting in a three and an out that returned the ball to Austria. Starting from midfield, Wegan got back to work, slashing the defense over and over again. Thury then found his Danube Dragons his teammate wide receiver Philipp Haun for two consecutive goals before Wegan himself ended training in a draw among 10, bringing the score to 14-0.
The second Serbian reader demonstrated the physicality of the Austrian defense. Their bullish nature led to a pair of key penalties, however, maintaining the Serbian drive alive. And then from the Austrian 25-meter line, Tasic stepped back, gave a pump and threw the ball towards wide receiver Tihomir Todorov who managed to get some separation and dove into the end zone to secure from serbia a single touch of the game, narrowing the Austrian lead to 14-6.
Austria took no more risks after that and returned to the kickoff that followed with an 85-yard touchdown return from Yannick Mayr, bringing the score to 21-6.
After a Serbian declining turnover, Austria returned directly to work, relying heavily on Wegan, before Thury connects to the big Giants of Graz tight end Florain Bierbaumer (# 89) who landed a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone on a 20 yard cross.
Austria entered the break leading 28 – 6.
Tasic came out in the second half continuing to look dangerous, touching Serbia until Austrian 26-yard line behind consecutive passes. However, the reader stalled on a fourth and a and Austria took over.
Dacia Vienna Vikings’ Young and talented quarterback Nico Hrouda started the second half and delivered an excellent 71-yard drive in five games. After Hrouda found Mayr for a 10-yard gain, he handed the ball over to Wegan who simply continued where he left off in the first half by pounding the ball for a 22-yard pickup. Hrouda hit Haun for a 22-yard gain, then finished the run with a beautifully launched 20-yard fade to Huan for the first. Austrian second half touchdown, widening the lead to 35-6.
The second score was much more outlandish.
Two possessions later, after an unusual punt from the Austrian side, Serbia was trapped deep in their own area at the 14-yard line. On a third and 14th play, Tasic rolled to the right, backed up and simply dropped the ball as he prepared for a pass. The ball hit him in the shoulder and bounced back into the hands of chasing defender Lucky Efosa Ogbevoen who, living up to his name, simply stepped into the end zone to make it 42-6 in the last. seconds of the third quarter.
After another blocked disk of Serbia, Austria then got the Swarco Raiders running back Lukas Haslwanter involved. On a third and one of the Austrian 46, he ran straight to the stomach, passed a defenseman and broke a 54-yard touchdown run to complete the scoreline at 48-6.
On their final possession, Serbia and starting quarterback Tasic, fought valiantly, refusing to give up despite the large scoring deficit but couldn’t get beyond his own zone. The day really belonged to Austria by exposing the level of football that their country offers.
austria starting quarterback Alexander Thury completed seven of 11 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown while substitute Nico Hrouda threw for 49 yards and one score on three of seven. Florian Wegan has 13 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns while Lukas Haslwanter rushed for 63 yards and another score. Philipp Haun managed five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, Yannick Mayr caught four passes for 49 yards and Florian Bierbaumer had a catch, a touchdown reception from 17 yards.
For Serbia, Andrej Tasic was 10 of 20 for 148 yards and one touchdown while Filip Vlajić carried the ball 14 times for 15 yards. Tihomir Todorov had four passes for 82 yards and Serbia’s lone touchdown while Petar Bajalica caught four passes for 51 yards.
With the victory, Austria somewhat redeems the surprise loss to Italy in the qualifying rounds, preventing the team from reaching the Final Four of the IFAF European Championship for the first time since 2005.