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23.07.2007 Turek Graz Giants

TUREK Graz Giants defend their EFAF-Cup Title winning 28:26

In an exciting game played in ASKOE stadium Graz-Eggenberg on July 21st 2007, the Turek Graz Giants won their third EFAF-Cup title, defending thereby the title won in 2006. In the first ever European final played by two Austrian teams, both sides were suffering under the enormous heat of 36 degrees Celsius. Everybody was amazed by an unknown man patrolling the Blue Devils sidelines wearing a black suit and tie.

Giants run over Warriors to reach the Final
(c) Winterthur Warriors
Giants run over Warriors to reach the Final
(c)Winterthur Warriors

The Cineplexx Blue Devils dominated the first half: The Turek Graz Giants did not get into any kind of rhythm, obviously still shaken by last week´s loss in the Autrian Bowl. The Blue Devils took the lead with 51 seconds left in the first quarter when RB Anthony Sutton bursted into the endzone; the PAT by Remo Martinz was good providing a 7:0 lead for the guest team. Anthony Sutton scored another rushing touchdown with 05:47 left in the second quarter followed by another succesful PAT – the Blue Devils were up 14:0. When Blue Devils WR Mortazavi Mohammed scored on a Toby Henry pass 49 seconds before intermission, extending the lead to 20:0, the game seemed to be decided. Hardly anybody thought that the then missed PAT – the ball hit the upright and bounced back – would be of any importance for the outcome of the game.

The game completely changed in the second half and the Turek Graz Giants started to take control: With 04:03 to play in the third quarter, WR Armando Ponce de Leon caught a short TD pass from QB Thomas Ricks; Christoph Kipperer´s PAT was good – cutting the lead to 7:20 which was also the score at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter things went really wild: With 09:14 to play in the game the Giants scored another touchdown as WR Mohamed Muheize hauled in a Thomas Ricks pass on fourth down; the PAT was good and the scoreboard showed 14:20. On the very next play the Turek Graz Giants recovered an onside kick thus getting the ball back; four plays later RB Florian Mittl scored another touchdown tying the game. Christoph Kipperer´s PAT gave the home team the first lead with 07:16 to play. The Turek Graz Giants again recovered their kickoff – a short pooch kick. WR Mohamed Muheize scored on a long run extending the lead; as the PAT was good again, the Turek Graz Giants led 28:20 having scored 21 points in just 3:06 minutes.

With 06:08 to play the Blue Devils fought back: They produced a long drive, scoring on a Toby Henry pass to WR Christian Stefani with 01:24 cutting the lead of the Giants to 2 points; but the conversion then failed and the Turek Graz Giants hung onto their lead 28:26. The Giants recovered the ensuing onside kick by the Blue Devils, ran out the clock and let the celebrations begin.

The crowd of approximately 1,250 spectators at the stadium witnessed a thrilling game with the better end for the defending champions; moreover, as the game was covered live by Austrian TV this finale was definetely a great advertisement for European Football.

European Federation of American Football