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Kickoff in Carinthia: SWARCO Raiders open 2010 season


Europe's number one team is hunting for championships again. On Sunday, March 28, the SWARCO Raiders, marketing teammate of The Oakland Raiders, open the new Austrian Football League (AFL) season on the road against the Carinthian Black Lions. Kickoff at Villacher Lind Stadium is at 6 a.m. PT (3 p.m. CET).

As always you can follow the action live on the Internet. And on time for the new season the SWARCO Raiders present their live-stream in a new design with new features, better viewing quality and, for home games, different camera angles. You can watch the live-stream at

As the reigning Eurobowl champion, the Tyroleans are the heavy favorites to win their opener. Though, they will not take their opponent lightly. "I expect to play against a really good team. They have the same quarterback as last season and brought most players back. That gives them good continuity," said SWARCO Raiders head coach Santos Carrillo. "We will not take them easy. We have to be prepared for everything. I even expect to see some trick plays."

In their past meetings the Tyroleans had no problems handling the Black Lions. Since the Carinthian Falcons and Cowboys merged to form the Black Lions in 2005, the SWARCO Raiders have won all five contests scoring an average of 40.8 points per game, while allowing an average of 5.6 points per meeting.

Last season the team from Innsbruck beat the Carinthians at home by a score of 54-7. The SWARCO Raiders scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions. RB Florian Grein had a total of three touchdowns. He is back at full strength after suffering a torn ACL last season. To help him with the running game, the SWARCO Raiders signed RB Tory Cooper.

To run the offense though, the Tyroleans brought in QB Leon Jackson III. He played in France last year and is excited to kick off the new season with his new team. "I came here two months ago and I haven't played a single game, yet. I want to play so badly," Jackson explained.

Last season he completed 111 of 167 passes for 1,415 yards with 15 touchdowns and only one interception for Les Argonauts d'Aix en Provence. He also added 78 rushes for 513 yards and 10 scores. Similar numbers can be found on Black Lions QB D.J. Hernandez's stats sheet. He led the AFL in 2009 with 127 rushing yards per game (93 rushes for762 yards) and scored 12 times on the ground. Hernandez also completed 84 of 146 passes for 1,096 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

No wonder Jackson shows great respect for his counterpart with the season opener just around the corner, "I expect the Black Lions to come out swinging and give us all they have. It's important for us to focus on our strengths and execute well. This is the first game of the season. It's going to be very emotional."

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