For the fourth time in six years the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, have the chance to crown themselfes as kings of Europe. On Saturday, July 6 the Tyroleans host the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in Eurobowl XXVII. The final of the European Football League (EFL) is an all-Astrian matchup and is held at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium. Kickoff is at 11:45 a.m. PT (8:45 p.m. CET).
Follow the SWARCO Raiders live on www.raiderstv.at. The live stream for this week’s game starts on July 6 at 11:15 a.m. PT (8:15 p.m. CET).
"There could not be a better matchup on such a big stage“, said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "Since we lost in the 2012 EFL semifinals we have worked so hard to get here. Now it's about bringing the title back to Tyrol."
Tyrol is where the Eurobowl has been won in 2008, 2009 and 2011; Fatah's first season as head coach of the team. The SWARCO Raiders have never lost the final game in the fight for Europe's crown in front of their home crowd.
Though they lost twice to the Vikings this season. In week 4 of the Austrian Football League (AFL) season they fell 48-13 at home. In their last road game of the AFL season Fatah rested most of his starters and his team lost 24-6 at Vienna.
33 times the team's clashed in AFL or EFL games with the Vikings winning 23 of these games. The SWARCO Raiders have won six of the last 14 encounters.
Five times both teams faced in EFL action. And while the Vikings have won the first three games the Tyroleans came out on top the last two times these bitter rivals crossed their swords. The SWARCO Raiders won the Eurobowl in 2008 with a 28-24 finals victory over Vienna and also defeated the Vikings in the 2011 EFL semifinals 13-10 thanks to two last-minute field goals.
Expect another close one this Saturday. The Vikings are unbeaten this season, having won all then AFL regular season games. They enter the AFL playoffs as the number one team. In the EFL they defeated the Soleroed Gold Diggers from Denmark 62-3 in the quarterfinals and then advanced to the finals with a 41-17 win over the Berlin Adler.
The Tyroleans started their EFL season with a 52-13 victory over the Helsinki Roosters. In the semifinals they knocked the 2012 Eurobowl champion Calanda Broncos off the throne, beating them 37-13.
SWARCO Raiders QB Kyle Callahan completed 135 of 208 passes for 1,965 yards with 24 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this AFL season. He also had 37 rushes for 160 yards and 4 scores. No other AFL quarterback had a higher completion percentage (64.9) and he threw the second-most touchdown passes. In the EFL Callahan completed 35 of 52 passes for 421 yards with 3 touchdowns and gained 57 yards on 12 carries.
RB Andreas Hofbauer led his team with 92 rushes for 575 yards and 5 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung had 60 rushes for 349 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB/DB Jaycen Taylor gained 94 yards on 15 carries and scored once. He also caught 10 passes for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the EFL Hofbauer had 23 rushes for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. Taylor caught 6 balls for 108 yards and had 4 rushes for 35 yards and 2 touchdowns.
WR Damaso Tarneller was his team's best receiver this regular season, having caught 40 passes for 642 yards and 4 touchdowns. WR Julian Ebner caught 25 balls for 439 yards and 9 touchdowns. WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher hauled in 25 passes for 307 yards and 2 scores. WR Talib Wise caught 18 passes for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 10 carries for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the Eurobowl competition Tarneller caught 8 balls for 111 yards and a touchdown. Ebner caught 7 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown and Wise had 7 catches for 78 yards.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams, having converted 38 of 41 extra points in the AFL. He also kicked six field goals and punted 19 times for a 37.3 average with 6 of his punts being downed inside the opposing 20-yard line. 30 of his 58 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Erlsbacher also had 7 kickoff returns for 133 yards. In the EFL he punted 4 times for an average of 50 yards. He also kicked 3 field goals.
DB Enrico Martini had 15 kickoff returns in the AFL for 425 yards. Taylor returned 2 punts – both for touchdowns (65 and 78 yards).
DL Chris James led his team in the EFL with 14 tackles (11 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He also intercepted two passes, returning one for a score. DB Alexander Achammer had 13 tackles (13 solo) and a pick in two EFL games. DB Markus Krause, Wise and Taylor also each intercepted a pass. Taylor returned his pick for six points.
LB Florian Hueter led the SWARCO Raiders defense in the AFL with 43.5 tackles (28 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Christoph Schilcher had 34.5 tackles (24 solo) and one tackle for loss. LB Fabian Seeber had 31.5 tackles (25 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery.
DL Philipp Margreiter had 19 tackles (17 solo) with 13.5 of them being for loss. He had 6 sacks, forced 2 fumbles and intercepted a pass. Margreiter also blocked a punt. Krause had 26 tackles (16 solo) and caught 4 interceptions. Martini had 21.5 tackles (16 solo), recovered a fumble and intercepted 2 passes. DL Korbinian Hoffmann had 4 sacks and 5 tackles for loss among his 16.5 tackles (13 solo). DL Maximilian Pichler had 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. LB Simon Hoser and Taylor each caught 2 interceptions. Hoser returned one for a score. DB Patrick Pilger recovered a fumble.
Vienna's QB Christoph Gross completed 147 of 227 passes for 2.283 yards with 25 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in the AFL. His yards and touchdown passes are number one in the league. RB Jesse Lewis had 103 rushes for a league-leading 947 yards and 15 touchdowns. RB Islaam Amadu had 94 carries for 367 yards and 7 touchdowns. WR Michael Zweifel caught 35 passes for 619 yards and 10 touchdowns. WR Laurinho Walch caught 36 balls for 560 yards and 5 touchdowns. WR Stefan Holzinger had 31 catches for 667 yards and 6 touchdowns.
In the EFL Gross completed 30 of 49 passes for 472 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Lewis had 29 rushes for 302 yards and 4 touchdowns. Amadu carried the ball 10 times for 44 yards and a score. RB Philipp Kern had 11 rushes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Zweifel caught 14 passes for 240 yards and 5 touchdowns. Walch had 7 receptions for 137 yards and Holzinger caught 5 balls for 66 yards and 2 scores.
The Vikings defense is led by LB Dustin Illetschko, who had 41 tackles (28 solo) in the AFL. He also had 6 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. LB Marco Aigner had 30 tackles (20 solo) and 4.5 tackles for loss. LB Simon Blach had 27.5 tackles (24 solo) and 15 tackles for loss, 5 of them sacks as well as 3 forced fumbles. LB Paul Werner had 22.5 tackles (18 solo), 6 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. LB Philip Stojaspal led his team with 7 sacks and DL Alexander Taheri had 5.5 sacks. DB Benjamin Bubik led the AFL with 6 interceptions.
In the EFL Illetschko had 12 tackles (10 solo). Blach had 9.5 tackles (8 solo) and 3 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Vienna had a total of 7 sacks this Eurobowl season. Four players had an interception.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2013 season live and as-live for free on www.raidersTV.at.