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16.05.2007 Oslo Vikings
Vikings squander chances and game
It was a tough loss for the home team to take as they had earlier gone to Germany and beat the Berlin Adler 18-13. The Vikings end the EFAF Cup group even at 1-1, while the Crusaders will meet the Adler in Amsterdam to determine who will advance to the semi-final game.
Self-inflicting penalties and several big plays from the talented Crusaders doomed the Vikings in a hard-fought game between the clubs. Oslo was hit with 13 penalties for 117 yards in the game, six of them personal fouls (five on the defensive side of the ball). This certainly benefited Amsterdam and kept several drives from stalling out. The Vikings secondary was also burned four times by the deep ball and gave up 303 passing yards in the game.
Post-game comments from Oslo Viking's head coach Val Gunn echoed these facts. “When you are constantly beating yourself it is difficult to win ballgames and that is exactly what we did in this one. You simply cannot have the penalties and give up the big play and hope to have a chance, especially against a team with such tradition and talent as the Amsterdam Crusaders. So we've got to improve as a team and concentrate on the rest of our season, which still includes facing a very good Eidsvoll 1814s team for the Norwegian Championship.”
Despite the penalties and the long touchdowns given up by the Vikings, they were in the game until the very end. Oslo scored first in the opening quarter on a 3-yard run by Nicolay Aslaksen to make the score 7-0, Amsterdam answered with a 2-yard Heinze run to cut the lead to one after missing the extra point. Long touchdown passes of 78 and 71 yards for the Crusaders put the visitors up 20-7. Another score on the ground from Vikings running-back Nicolay Aslaksen who broke open for a 58-yard touchdown cut the lead to 20-14. However the Crusaders struck again on a long pass and finished the with a 1-yard dive to make the score 27-14 at halftime. The Vikings closed the gap in the third quarter to 27-21 with a 9-yard pass from quarterback Ted Baynham to David Rodsand. Oslo however could not capitalize on several opportunities in the final quarter and Amsterdam held on for the final victory.
In the game, Oslo unleashed a powerful run game gaining 264 yards on the ground, which made up for their anemic passing attack which finished with only 84 yards on 5 completions. The Vikings rush defense was strong limiting the Crusaders to only 70 yards on 30 carries. Two big injuries also severely impacted Oslo, losing running backs Javon Bailey and Nicolay Aslaksen during the game.
“I think having lost both guys really limited us in what we could do, especially late in the game. It is frustrating for me as a coach since our passing game is not performing well at all. We've got the guys who can do it, but just are not connecting for some reason.” Said Val Gunn, “Still despite everything that went wrong, we had a chance to win the game and that in itself says something about our team.”