SWARCO RAIDERS beat Black Panthers


WR Adrian Platzgummer scored 2 touchdowns (Photo: Schellhorn)

The SWARCO RAIDERS, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, have won their third straight game in the Austrian Football League (AFL). On Saturday the Tyroleans beat the Prague Black Panthers on the road, winning 31-22 (0-0; 14-10; 14-12; 3-0). With the victory the SWARCO RAIDERS moved into 2nd place in the AFL standings.

"This win was huge", said SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol head coach Shuan Fatah. "Not only was it our first road win of the year in the AFL, it was also a win over a real tough opponent."

QB Sean Shelton completed 30 of 49 passes for 383 yards with 2 touchdowns an. RB Fabien-André Gärtner gained 30 yards on 10 carries and scored once. He also caught 3 passes for 40 yards. WR Max Tollinger caught 6 balls for 113 yards and a touchdown. It was his first 100-yard game. WR Adrian Platzgummer had 9 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. He also had 2 rushes for 18 yards and a score. RB Simon Muigg caught 8 balls for 68 yards. DB Alexander Achammer led the team with 5.5 tackles (5 solo) and DB Patrick Pilger caught his 4th interception of the season.

The Black Panthers won the coin toss and elected to receive. WR Jan Stiegler returned the kickoff to the Prague 36. On the game's first play from scrimmage RB Matej Reinvart ran for 22 yards. Then QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero found WR Stiegler for 17 yards. But later the quarterback lost the football and the SWARCO RAIDERS recovered at their 32.

After the Tyroleans turned the ball over on downs the Black Panthers marched again. Starting at their own 44 Newhall-Caballero threw a 42-yard pass to WR Martin Sindler. Moments later the SWARCO RAIDERS blocked a 16-yard field goal try by K Marek Hrubon.

Still the Tyroleans were not able to move the chains. They punted on their second possession. After a bad snap Prague recovered at the opposing 35. This time the home-site struck gold as Reinvart scored the game's first touchdown; a 3-yard run. The PAT gave the Black Panthers a 7-0 lead with 8:30 minutes left in the second.

The SWARCO RAIDERS started their next drive at the 25. On the third play from scrimmage Shelton was sacked and stripped of the ball, giving Prague the ball at the Tyrolean 24. A few plays later Hrubon kicked a 34-yard field goal to give the Black Panthers a 10-0 lead with 5:40 minutes left in the second.

The SWARCO RAIDERS offense finally awoke. Starting at their own 22 Shelton found Platzgummer for 5 and 10 yards. Then WR Christian Willi caught a 14-yarder. After a penalty moved them back Shelton found Tollinger for 28 yards. Next up was a 12-yard completion to Willi. Then Platzgummer scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. K Dennis Wiehberg, who just came back from injury, made the PAT to cut Prague's lead to 10-7 with 60 seconds left in the half.

Instead of running out the clock Prague tried to go through the air. But after two incompletions the Black Panthers had to punt, giving the Tyroleans the ball at their own 35 with 40 seconds left. On third down Shelton found Tollinger for 46 yards. Next was a 13-yard pass to Willi before he threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Tollinger. Wiehberg's extra point gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 14-10 lead with eight seconds left in the second.

RB Sandro Platzgummer opened the third quarter with a 40-yard kickoff return. Shelton found Tollinger for 10 yards, then Muuig caught passes of 9, 7 and 5 yards. Gärtner's 28-yard catch and run brought the Tyroleans close to the goal line. Then Gärtner scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Wiehberg kicked the PAT to give the SWARCO RAIDERS a 21-10 lead with 8:30 minutes left in the third.

Prague answered with a scoring drive of its own. Starting at their own 17 Newhall-Caballero found Sindler for 15 yards and the Stiegler for 30 yards. Next he threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Stiegler. The two-point conversion failed, but the Black Panthers had cut the lead to 21-16 with 6:15 minutes left in the third.

The Tyroleans began their next possession at their own 27. Shelton found Tollinger for 15 yards. Then Willi caught an 18-yarder. A penalty moved the ball into enemy territory. On the next play Shelton threw a 34-yard scoring strike to Platzgummer. Wiehberg kicked the extra point to give the SWARCO RAIDERS a 28-16 lead with 4:50 minutes left in the third.

Once again Prague had an answer. This time they started at their own 16. Newhall-Caballero completed five passes in a row for 56 yards. A penalty moved the ball to the Tyrolean 14. Two plays later Reinvart scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. DL Michael Huber then sacked Newhall-Caballero on the two-point conversion try. With 20 seconds left in the third the SWARCO RAIDERS held a 28-22 lead.

The Black Panthers then tried to fool the SWARCO RAIDERS by kicking an onside kick, but the Tyroleans recovered the ball at the Prague 47. Passes from Shelton to Muigg were good for 12 and 5 yards. A penalty moved the chains to the 9. But the Tyroleans later had to settle for a field goal. Wiehberg's 24-yard kick gave them a 31-22 lead with 8:30 minutes left in the fourth.

Each side had to punt on its next drive. After the SWARCO RAIDERS had taken a lot of time of the clock the Black Panthers regained possession with 94 seconds left and 97 yards to go. Newhall-Caballero found Sindler for 30 yards and WR Jan Dundacek for 44 yards. But his last pass was picked off by Pilger.

Next Saturday the SWARCO RAIDERS will host Swiss champion Basel Gladiators in the BATTLE4TIROL.

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