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11.05.2004 Farnham Knights
PA Knights press release
Danube Dragons (Vienna - Austria) 21 - 16 Personal Assurance Knights
The PA Knights (sponsored in Europe by Premier Prospects) suffered their
first defeat of 2004 in a thrilling game at the Happyland Stadium in
Klosterneuburg in front of 1000 supporters that included a faithful band of
Knights followers including representatives of both Premier Prospects and
The game was televised in highlights on the ORF (National Austrian TV) both
late on Saturday night and again at lunchtime on Sunday with an hour long
programme showing the best of the action and both pre-game and post game
This was the Knights second venture into Europe and saw them return to
Austria where the standard of football is much higher than that in Britain
and the Guildford based team knew that they had a tough game on their hands
as well as coping with the rigours of the long journey to Vienna.
The Dragons kicked off to the Knights and the visitors put together an
impressive first drive that saw 9 plays move them 43 yards to the Dragons 16
yard line from where Jon Wyse kicked a 33yard Field Goal for an early
Knights 0-3 lead.
The Dragons attempt to respond was abruptly halted after a quick 3 plays and
out series that saw Jay Cashman and Chris McIver stopping WR P Eidherr 2
yards short of first down yardage on a reception from American QB Brent
Luebke. The Dragons - fearful of the Knights returners - punted 15yards out
of bounds and the visitors took over on their own 39yard line.
The Knights moved the ball well on the ground with both Tony Stitt and
Kingsley Ejiogu gaining good yardage but two crucial penalties (a factor
that was to eventually
contribute to the Knights downfall) meant that despite an Ashley Heath
connection of 11yards to John Barclay on third down the Knights were forced
to punt the ball away.
John Wyse kicked to star Austrian Receiver Tomas Oberzeller who fumbled the
ball - the Knights special teamers jumped on the opportunity and the Knights
had great field position at the Dragons 25 yard line.
The unusual experience of playing in a Stadium in front of a noisy crowd
with a booming PA System then became a factor for the British team. An
audible at the line of scrimmage to change the play called was not heard by
all of the Knights offense - in the confusion that followed the Knights
fumbled the ball and the Dragons recovered to even up the turnover score.
The Dragons also made the turnover hurt all the more with two huge plays to
their first touchdown. First Brent Luebke took off on a 31yard option play
run before being forced out of bounds. Then he took to the air and gave
Oberzeller the opportunity to redeem himself as he reeled in a 37 yard pass
despite close attention from the Knights Defensive Backs. Schubert added the
extra point attempt and the lead exchanged hands at 7-3.
Keith Theobald returned the Kick Off 9yds to the Knights 43yd line as the
Dragons again avoided the Knights kick return specialists with a short kick.
tony Stitt carried the load for the Knights and impressed as he moved the
ball to the Dragons 35yd line behind the blocking of the Knights O Line. The
Knights then went back to the air to maintain balance on a 1st and five
following a home team penalty, unfortunately the pass was intercepted by R
Mikula who returned it 21yds before being brought down by Jon Wyse.
The Dragons however lost a yard on the next three plays and were forced to
punt. this time Kuen boomed the kick high 32yds downfield to Chris McIver.
tremendous blocking gave him the opportunity to get the return underway and
then set up further blocks to leave him one on one with the kicker, a neat
shoulder fake saw him in the clear and scoring on a 79yd return for a
Touchdown. Jon Wyse added the extra point and the Knights regained the lead
The Dragons took over as the second quarter began and turned to the running
of their star back Christian Ully. After two good gains Luebke kept the ball
himself to break into Knights territory and then kept the ball again for
another Dragons first down. Tony Mackenzie was on fine form and the Dragons
decided to counter away from him with S Scharinger on the next run - he met
cornerback Marvin Jimerson who both caused and recovered a fumble to even up
the turnover count at 2-2.
The Knights went back to their ground game and moved the ball confidently
with Tony Stitt, Kingsley Ejiogu and Marc Saunders carrying the load. after
two first downs the Knights found themselves at 3rd and 2 on the Dragons
17yd line and Ashley Heath followed Luebke's lead by keeping the ball
himself for a first down at the Dragons 13yd line. The Knights first run saw
Tony Stitt caight for a loss of 2yds before he regained that ground on the
next carry. Heath's pass on third and long was incomplete and the Knights
were forced to settle for three as Wyse again converted this time from
29yds. Knights lead 7-13.
Wyse drove the kick off deep into Dragons territory and John Barclay
streaked in to bring down Bacher on the return at the home teams 15yd line.
Despite good clock management by Luebke the Dragons had too far to go in the
remaining time and the Knights went into the break with the 6 point lead.
The Knights had held the ball for 17 minutes in the first half restricting
the dragons to just 7 minutes of possesion. Despite not scoring a touchdown
offensively the British team were in control - but the second half was to
bring a complete reversal of that situation.
Wyse boomed the restarting kick deep into Dragon territory and this time it
was Stuart Clackson that brought Bacher down at the 14yd line.
Christian Ully picked up 2 yards on first down, Luebke then saw two passes
fall incomplete and the Dragons were forced to punt. The Knights Special
Teams triumphed again as Tony Mackenzie burst through the puntwers
protection to block the kick which he then recovered at the Dragons 31yd
The Knights sought to take a grip on the game through the ground game but
three successive runs could only yield 4yds and they brough on Wyse again
for his third successful Field Goal attempt from 37yds out. the Knights led
the the turnover count at 3-2 and the game by 7-16.
The Knights Special teams were in impressive form and Bacher found no better
fortune with the next return as Rob Camplin brought him down after a 12 yd
return at the Dragons 30yd line.
The home team then embarked on a drive that took 6 minutes off the clock and
could probably be identified as the turning point in the visitors fortunes.
Christian Ully was sent to work and with the Knights travelling with only 4
linebackers the home team ground out two first downs as the long journey
took its toll. Chris Cooke stepped up on the next play to stop Ully for a
gain of 1yd, it was Ully again on second down and just 2 yds this time
before Clackson brought him down, Jez McLees brought the same result on the
next play and the Dragons faced 4th and 5 at the Knights 35yd line. A huge
penalty on the ensuing snap, with Luebke showing all the experience that had
him linked with the Dallas Cowboys, saw the Knights surrender a vital first
Luebke and Ully carried the load on 7 further rushing plays to Luebke's 2yd
touchdown scamper. Schubert kicked the extra point and the Knights saw their
lead sliced to 14-16.
The Knights next drive took up the remaining 2 minutes of the quarter with
Kingsley Ejiogu breaking a 10yd run before the Dragons forced the Knights to
punt - the snap beat Wyse however and he recovered enough to throw
incomplete and leave the ball at the Dragons 42yd line.
The Dragons started the drive by pounding Ully at the Knights for 4 straight
runs - after intial success Chris Cooke held him to a yard and then Chris
McIver brought him down after an option pitch for a loss of that yard to
bring up 3rd down and 10. The Knights had the chance for a vital stop but
Ully came umarked out of the backfield to pick up a first down on a 20yd
reception from Luebke.Ully lost 6yds on the next play and a further yard on
second down to see the Dragons back in a hole at 3rd and 17. Luebke's pass
was complete to Eidherr but he was still 4yds short and the Dragons faced
4th and 4 at the Knights 15yd line.
Dragons Head Coach Tino von Eckhart decided against a Field Goal attempt and
a one point lead and left the Offense on the field - or did he simply rel
upon Luebke's experience to draw a penalty from the Knights? Only Tino can
tell you but that is precisely what happened as the visitors gave up first
down after on an offside call despite Chris Cooke stopping Luebke for a gain
of only 2yds. Three plays later Luebke crashed into the enzone on a one yard
run for the winning touchdown. Schubert added the PAT and the Dragons led
The Knights took over after a kick out of bounds at their own 35yd line.
Good runs from Tony Stitt saw them move to the Dragons 32 yd line in 3
plays. the Dragons then made a crucial play as Ashley Heaths first down pass
was intercepted by G Scherzer.
The home team consumed 4 minutes on the next drive as Ully was given all the
work on the ground and Luebke's only pass fell incomplete. The Dragons
punted to the Knights 31 yard line to give the visitors one last chance to
come back with just 1minute and 30 seconds remaining.
The Knights got nothing on the first down run but Tony Stitt picked up 12
yds on a reception from Ashley Heath on second down. The Knights were out of
time outs and faced 1st and 10 on their own 43yd line with just 40 seconds
remaining. The almost inevitable pass was picked off at the Dragons 33yd
line by S Steurer although the play was disputed by the Knights sideline the
home team only had to kill the clock to secure their win.
Knights Head Coach Steve Rains said "This was a very close, hard fought and
exciting game. Apart from our disappointment at the result this has been a
tremendous experience for the club and we are very proud of our players and
the way they have represented the club, our league and our country both on
and off the field. Last year we came to Austria and were found wanting in
the second half - this game could have gone either way right to the very end
- that is progress and we must not lose sight of that in our
Asst Head Coach James Mitchell added "There was no one thing in the game
that decided the outcome - we did some good things across the board but at
the end of the day we came up just a little short against a very good team.
We will now get back to focussing on our domestic season this week against
the London Blitz - Danube play Zurich and who knows we may still be in with
a shout in this competition by the time we play Zurich in two weeks"
A Heath 3 of 14 for 27yds 3Int
J Wyse 0 of 1
B Leubke 6 of 14 for 107yds 1TD
A Stitt 1 for 12yds
J Barclay 1 for 11yds
D Clarke 1 for 4yds
P Eidherr 2 for 16yds
T Oberzeller 1 for 37yds 1TD
S Scharinger 1 for 21yds
C Ully 1 for 20yds
M Kuen 1 for 13yds
A Stitt 18 for 75yds
K Ejiogu 6 for 24yds
M Saunders 3 for 17yds
A Heath 1 for 4yds
C Ully 26 for 79yds
B Luebke 13 for 53yds 2TD
S Scharinger 4 for 14yds
S Bacher 1 for 4yds
Passing 3 of 15 for 27yds
Rushing 28 attempts for 120yds
total 43 plays 147yds
Passing 6 of 14 for 107yds
Rushing 44 attempts for 150yds
Total 58 plays for 257yds
C McIver 5U 1A
J McLees 5U
T Mackenzie 3U 4A + 1 Blocked Punt
J Wyse 4U
C Cooke 3U
T Porter 3U 1A
S Clackson 3U
N Edwards 3U
J Barclay 2U 1A
J Cashman 2U 1A
A Cole 1U
R Camplin 1U
S Harrison 1U 1A
Liam Smith 1U 1A
M Jimerson 1A + 1 FR
S Kockleburg 1A