Grein leads SWARCO Raiders to first win over Bulls

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SWARCO Raiders RB Florian Grein (26) scored 5 touchdowns against the Salzburg Bulls. Photo by Schellhorn.

RB Florian Grein is back! In his first start of the season, he led the SWARCO Raiders to a convincing 54-13 (14-0; 13-7; 13-0; 14-6) win at Salzburg. It was the very first victory for The Oakland Raiders' marketing partner over the Bulls.

Grein had an outstanding performance on this Week 5 matchup in the Austrian Football League (AFL). The running back, who is coming back from a torn ACL, carried the ball 17 times for 177 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was Grein's first 5 touchdown game of his career.

"Flo really took over the game and took full control," said SWARCO Raiders head coach Santos Carrillo. "We have played with backups almost completely today and still had a very good game. I'm very happy about that."

One of the players missing was RB Tory Cooper. AFL rules allow teams to play with only one import player on offense and defense against the league's new members. For the SWARCO Raiders offense this was QB Leon Jackson III, who completed 7 of 12 passes for 93 yards with one touchdown and an interception. WR Andreas Pröller caught 4 balls for 67 yards and a score. The defense allowed only one offensive touchdown, picked off three passes and scored a touchdown for the second week in a row. This time DB Immo Söllner returned an interception to the endzone.

The SWARCO Raiders opened the scoring on their second drive. Starting at their own 21 Grein gained some yards on two runs, before breaking free for a 66-yard touchdown run. K Emanuel Trinkl added the extra point to give the Tyroleans a 7-0 lead.

After a punt on the Bulls' first drive, the second series was supposed to end the same way. But after a bad snap the ball sailed over the punter's head and the SWARCO Raiders started their next drive on the opposing 7-yard line. On fourth down Grein ran it in from one yard out. The PAT made it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

After a defensive stop on fourth down inside their own 5, the SWARCO Raiders got the ball back at their own 2 and started with runs by Grein. Later 17-year old RB Andreas Hofbauer caught an 11-yard pass from Jackson. The quarterback then hit Pröller at the Bulls 30. The same combo brought the Tyroleans to the Bulls 2. From there Grein scored on a run up the middle. The PAT was blocked. Midway through the second quarter the score was 20-0 for the SWARCO Raiders.

Salzburg finally found an answer. WR Daniel White returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a score. The PAT made it 20-7.

The guest team from Innsbruck kept running the ball. After a few Grein runs Hofbauer ran from the 38-yard line to the Bulls 35. WR Julian Ebner then caught a 12-yarder, before Jackson found Pröller, who muscled his way through two defenders and scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass. After the PAT the score was 27-7 just before halftime.

The Bulls started the second half with a punt. The SWARCO Raiders started their first drive of the third quarter at midfield with a run from Grein to the Bulls 23. Hofbauer added a 13-yard run, before Grein finished off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The PAT made it 34-7.

After forcing some punts, the SWARCO Raiders defense came up with its first forced turnover. LB Christoph Bertsch picked off a pass from QB Andreas Diwald and returned the ball to the Bulls 20. Later Grein scored from 4 yards out. It was his fifth touchdown of the game. After a missed extra point the SWARCO Raiders were up 40-7 midway through the third quarter.

A long pass from Diwald to White to the Tyroleans 13 helped to finally get Salzburg's offense on the scoreboard. With the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter Diwald threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to WR Johannes Mayrobnig. The PAT was missed. The SWARCO Raiders had a 40-13 lead.

The Bulls next drive ended in the arms of Damaso Tarneller. The second-string QB, who was converted to LB, intercepted a pass from Diwald in the Tyroleans half. The SWARCO Raiders then extended their lead when Hofbauer broke loose for a 44-yard touchdown run. After Trinkl's PAT the score was 47-13 midway through the fourth.

It was the SWARCO Raiders defense that was responsible for the game's last touchdown. Söllner picked off a Diwald pass and returned the ball 49 yards for a score. After the PAT it was 54-13.

The SWARCO Raiders now have a bye-week, before playing against the Berlin Adler in the Eurobowl semifinals on Sunday, June 6. Kickoff at Tivoli Stadium is at 5 a.m. PT (2 p.m. CET).

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