Jun 20th 14:30, by Alex Malchow

Viennas Shelton Eppler embracing the role of emergency QB

Hannes Jirgal

Jun 20th 14:30, by Alex Malchow

Viennas Shelton Eppler embracing the role of emergency QB

Vienna Vikings' 25-20 win over the Berlin Thunder last weekend was another instant ELF classic, as two talented teams battled it out in front of over 10,000 fans at Generali Arena.

One new wrinkle to the game was the Vikings' quarterback Shelton Eppler, who made his first start in Vienna after arriving just a few days before gameday.

Eppler was signed as a last minute replacement for injured starter Ben Holmes. The timing was perfect as Eppler had just finished playing his season in Mexico a few weeks ago.

"Honestly, it was such a last minute thing. I was in talks with Coach Calacay in the past and it felt amazing to get to come back to Europe and play for a great organization with even better people. The European sports atmosphere is an awesome experience."

A Quick Introduction

Eppler jumped at the chance to play in Vienna after getting a call from coach Calacay on Tuesday. The former Mexican league MVP and champion, was eager to get back to Europe where he started his pro-career in Denmark, before playing in Hungary and eventually finding his way to Mexico. 

After arriving Wednesday, Eppler reflected on having only a couple of practices with the Vikings before taking the field on Game Day.

"Coming in on short notice can be stressful trying to get everything down, build relationships, etc. - but the team, coaches, and everyone involved were very welcoming and supportive to help me in any way possible to be ready for the game."


Eppler comes up clutch in the fourth quarter

Even with only a few days to prepare, the veteran passer was able to guide the Vikings to a crucial eastern conference victory in a thrilling back and forth game. Eppler threw for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns including a beautiful 35-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter that ended up being the game winning score.

"Winning means everything to me. My goal was to come in and do whatever I can to help the Vikings win football games. Whether it be rush for 300 yards and win or pass for it. Winning is the only stat that matters to me."

Eppler is set to lead the Vikings' offense again next week, continuing to fill in for the injured Ben Holmes. The undefeated Vikings will take on the Prague Lions on June 23rd in the Czech capital at 13:00 CET.

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