WR Julian Ebner caught three touchdown passes (Photo: Schellhorn)
The SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, have won their first road game of the 2013 Austrian Football League (AFL) season. The Tyroleans defeated the AFC Rangers 42-17 (14-7; 7-10; 7-0; 14-0). It was the team’s ninth victory in ten meetings with the squad from Mödling.
“It was a hard-fought win”, said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. “In the first half we again made too many unnecessary mistakes that made built up our opponent. But in the second half we played very efficient, though we have a lot of room to improve”.
QB Kyle Callahan threw 4 touchdown passes with one interception. Three of those ended up in the hands of WR Julian Ebner. WR Damaso Tarneller caught two touchdowns. WR Clemens Erlsbacher kicked six extra points. RB Jaycen Taylor scored his first touchdown in his first action for the SWARCO Raiders. A week after the Vikings loss the defense gave up only one touchdown and forced two turnovers.
The SWARCO Raiders kicked off the game. After a touchback the Rangers started at their own 25. The first drive ended with a three-and-out. After the punt the Tyroleans started at their own 42. A pass from Callahan to Tarneller gained 10 yards. On the next play Callahan ran to the Rangers 30. Later Taylor ran for a first down. A penalty against the home site gave the Tyroleans a first down inside the 10. Callahan finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ebner. Erlsbacher kicked the extra point to give the SWARCO Raiders a 7-0 lead with 8:59 minutes left in the first.
The Rangers second drive ended with their second punt. The Tyroleans though had to punt on their second possession, too. But after a bad snap and a penalty the the Rangers got the ball at the opposing 20. The drive started with a penalty. Then RB Anton Wegan ran 22 yards on a double-reverse. On the next play QB Craig Maynard scored on a 3-yard run. The PAT tied the game at 7-7 with 3:23 minutes left in the first.
DB Enrico Martini returned the ensuing kickoff to the 40. RB Andreas Hofbauer started the drive with a 10-yard run. Then Tarneller caught a 40-yard pass from Callahan. On the next play Callahan found Tarneller for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Erlsbacher kicked the PAT to give the SWARCO Raiders a 14-7 lead with 1:55 minutes left in the first.
Again the team’s exchanged punts. But the Tyroleans punt sailed out of bounds at their own 31, giving the Rangers good field position, yet again. The team from Mödling marched to the 17. But on fourth and 7 Maynard was stopped shy of the first down. But on the very next play Erlsbacher lost the ball and DB Raphael Hackl recovered the fumble at the SWARCO Raiders 15. This time the Rangers didn’t risk anything on fourth down. Instead they settled for K Philipp Fiferna’s 26-yard field goal, which cut the SWARCO Raiders lead to 14-10 with 68 seconds left in the second quarter.
A penalty cost the SWARCO Raiders good field position on the kickoff return. Starting at their own 4 Callahan lost the football and the Rangers recovered the ball in the endzone for a touchdown. The PAT was good. With 55 seconds left in the first half the Rangers had a surprising 17-14 lead.
But that lead wouldn’t last long. Martini returned the ball to the Tyrolean 38 on the kickoff. On the first play from scrimmage Callahan found Erlsbacher for 17 yards. On the next play he spotted a wide-open Ebner for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Erlsbacher added the extra point and 19 seconds before halftime the SWARCO Raiders were back up in front, leading 21-17.
The Tyroleans received the opening kickoff of the second half. They started at their 43 after another good Martini return. Callahan found Tarneller for 11 yards. After two Taylor runs the running back lost the ball and DL Paul Sarantos recovered the fumble at the Rangers 40. But the Rangers were not able to move the ball and were forced to punt.
The SWARCO Raiders second drive of the third quarter ended with another turnover. This time LB Clinton Snyder picked off a Callahan pass at the Rangers 40. But on the Rangers very next play Martini intercepted a pass thrown by Maynard and ran to the Rangers 31. A penalty moved the ball back to the Tyrolean 44. Hofbauer ran 13 Yards on the first play from scrimmage. A pass from Callahan to Erlsbacher resulted in a first down at the 18. Moments later Tarneller caught a 12-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good, extending the SWARCO Raiders lead to 28-17. 1:51 minutes were left to play in the third.
After a short kickoff return the Rangers started at their own 15. The drive ended with another punt. The Tyroleans got the ball back at their 42. On the first play Callahan pitched the ball to Erlsbacher, who raced down the left sideline 52 yards to the Rangers 5. Taylor then scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the SWARCO Raiders were up 35-17 with 10:33 minutes left in the fourth.
The Tyrolean defense then forced another punt. On the punt the ball hit a SWARCO Raiders player in the back and the Rangers recovered at the 46. But after another failed fourth-down conversion the SWARCO Raiders took over at the opposing 48. RB Lukas Miribung opened the drive with a 5-yard run. On the next play Callahan threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Ebner. Erlsbacher’s extra point was good. With 5:32 minutes left in the fourth the SWARCO Raiders led 42-17.
Next Sunday the SWARCO Raiders will play the re-scheduled game at the Prague Black Panthers. Kickoff on April 28 at Prague’s Slavia Stadium is at 3:00 a.m. PT (12:00 p.m. CET).