Jun 14th 16:15, by Alex Malchow

Viking Karri Pajarinen slowy growing into star role

Karri Pajarinen Vienna Vikings.

Hannes Jirgal

Jun 14th 16:15, by Alex Malchow

Viking Karri Pajarinen slowy growing into star role

The Vienna Vikings are one of four undefeated teams left in the European League of Football. In an even more rare feat, the Vikings were able to win a road game with a homegrown starting at quarterback, as head coach Chris Calaycay added another signature win to his collection to keep his team undefeated. 

Moving the chains

Even without an import quarterback and All-Star linebacker AJ Wentland and the Panthers defense keyed in on him, Pajarinen was able to run for 105 yards keeping the Vikings offense moving down the field. A solid running game and a ferocious defense proved to be enough for the Vikings to pull off the upset and beat the Panthers in Poland. Pajarinen commented on what Sunday's win meant to the Vikings. 

Pajarinen gave the spotlight to his teammates: "Team win. It's obviously tough to go into a game without your American QB on such short notice, but Alex Reischl and Chris Gross played their hearts out and gave us a chance to compete. Of course, the MVP of the game was our defensive unit, which pulled through big time and secured the win by scoring a touchdown and a safety."

Developing great players

The crucial victory leaned heavily on the homegrown talent that Vienna has developed. The Vikings over the years have been one of Europe's top programs as far as developing great players in Europe, but also the NCAA and even the NFL.

One testament to this player's development is budding star Karri Pajainen. The Finnish running back is in his second season with the Vikings after coming to the Austrian capital after several seasons starring in his home country for the Helsinki Roosters. Sharing the load in year one with Austrian Florian Wegen, Pajarinen ran for 561 yards in nine games.

Five touchdowns in three games

This year, however, Pajarinen has taken his game to a new level, rushing for 291 yards and scoring five touchdowns in only three games. Currently, he's on pace to surpass the one thousand-yard mark, as the Vikings look like a team ready to make another run at the title. The 25-year-old back has certainly found his stride in year two. Vienna's budding star commented on what's kept him coming back to the Vikings program.

"An elite organization across the board and a team full of brothers." Pajarinen said about his franchise.

Pajarinen and the Viking's offensive line will be crucial once again this week, as the Viking's quarterback situation remains a question mark with Ben Holmes on the bench. They will play the Berlin 2-1 Berlin Thunder in front of their home fans this Saturday at 5 PM CET. 

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