16.04.2013 Graz Giants
On to Berlin!
Great Football weather and an enthusiastic crowd of 1500 got the Home team going at the beginning of the game.
The Prague Black Panthers had the ball first but the JCL GIANTS defense was up and ready and quickly stopped the Prague Offense. The JCL GIANTS GRAZ countered with a very nice first drive, dominated by runs from Quarterback Alex Good and young Running Back Alexander Sanz enabling the Giants to march across the field. They finished the drive with a 2 yard scoring pass from Good to Wide Receiver Armando Ponce de Leon. The extra point by Stefan Lechner is good as well.
The JCL GIANTS GRAZ Defense stopped the Prague team again and the Giants Offense got the ball back. Only seconds into the second quarter the JCL GIANTS GRAZ score again. This time it was Sanz running the ball in for a touchdown (Lechner Kick good) and the new score of 14:0.
The next Prague drive was more promising as they nicely showed designed plays and got some momentum going. But when Running Back/ Safety Andre Whyte fumbled the ball and Nose Tackle Alexander Weinberger recovered the lost ball the JCL GIANTS GRAZ got the ball back.
A few nicely designed plays of their own and QB Alex Good runs in for the next score (Lechner Kick good) and the 21:0.
But everybody who thought that the game was decided didnít factor Pragueís willpower into the equation.
And they promptly struck back. A mistake in the Graz defensive backfield and Prague Quarterback Andrew Shoop found Wide Receiver Jan Stiegler who was wide open and easily walked it in from 58 yards (Wolesky Kick good).
The next Graz drive ended quickly and the Prague Black Panthers got the ball one last time before half time. Short passes left and right and the Panthers marched right acrossthe field. 26 seconds before half time the Panthers scored again, Quarterback Andre Shoop found Wide Receiver Dan Balazovic (Wolesky Kick good) and with the score of 21:14 and both teams headed into the locker rooms.
The second half started with a nice series by the JCL GIANTS GRAZ and finished with Armando Ponce de Leonís second Touchdown grab. Lechner's kick was wide right and so it then stood at 27:14. Despite the points everyone could see that the Prague defense was able to pressure Alex Good a lot more and also that the Running game was not working as smooth anymore. These points also were the last points the JCL GIANTS GRAZ scored that day.
The next two drives ended quickly but the field position changed in favor of the Prague Team. The Panthers get the ball at the 50 yard line and the physical dominance of the Prague team started to show even more. Less pressure by the Graz Defensive Line and more room for the Prague running game. Subsequently Andrew Shoop was able to run it in from 2 yards for the next Prague score (Wolesky Kick good) and shorty before the end of the third quarter the score was 27:21 for the home team.
The atmosphere in the stadium was peaking and the crowd cheered for the JCL GIANTS GRAZ. They stood united like a twelfth man. It hasnít been that loud in Eggenberg for a long time.
The next series of the JCL Giants Graz starts promising but ends at the Prague 26 without points. The same goes for the next Prague drive and the next Giants drive. The Black Panthers got the ball back with 4:58 on the clock in the 4th quarter. The fans were nervous, will the missed extra point be costly?
Shoops first couple of passes find their target and Prague gets to the 37 yard line of the JCL GIANTS GRAZ. Still enough time for Prague so the defense needed a stop here.
A short run on first down, an incomplete pass on second down. On third down the Panthers pass over the middle but Safety Christof Promitzer broke up the ball making it fourth down at the Graz 35. Quarterback Andrew Shoop looked for his most reliable target, Wide Receiver Jan Stiegler, and passed it to the first down. But not on this day, the defense held as Linebacker Benedikt Zipper deflected the deciding pass. Following that play the JCL GIANTS GRAZ were able to run out the clock and celebrate a dramatic 27:21 victory against the hard fighting Prague Black Panthers.
In Eurobowl Competion the JCL GIANTS GRAZ will be travelling to Berlin where there is still unfinished business left- where the JCL GIANTS GRAZ lost in the semis two years ago after holding a 21:0 halftime lead. A very special game for Quarterback Alex Good who played for Berlin last season.
But first the AFL continues. This coming weekend, the JCL GIANTS have a game away at the Prague Black Panthers where they will play against each other again. Both teams will certainly have learned from their mistakes. An exciting game is definitely brewing!