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SWARCO Raiders beat Dragons


DB Markus Krause intercepted two passes (Photo: Schellhorn)

In week 8 of the 2013 Austrian Football League (AFL) season the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, defeated the Danube Dragons 24-0 (3-0; 7-0; 7-0; 7-0). It was the fifth straight win for the Tyroleans.

It was also the 12th victory over the Dragons in 14 meetings. The SWARCO Raiders have never lost at home against the team from Klosterneuburg. The Tyroleans have pitched a shutout against the Dragons in three of their last five encounters. It was also the second time in three weeks that the Tyroleans didn't give up a single point in the AFL.

DB Markus Krause caught 2 interceptions and RB/DB Jaycen Taylor also picked off a pass. QB Kyle Callahan completed 18 of 25 passes for 187 yards with 3 touchdowns. WR/K Clemens Erlsbachercaught 5 balls for 48 yards and a touchdowns, kicked a field goal and converted three extra points. WR Damaso Tarneller hauled in 6 passes for 60 yards and a score. RB Lukas Miribunghad 7 rushes for 59 yards and RB Andreas Hofbauer gained 34 yards on 11 carries.

"We challenged the guys during practice this week and the young players took on the fight. That was especially obvious in our defensive backfield today. Yet the whole defense played very good", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "Our offense needed some time to get going, but once they found their rhythm they played well, too".

The SWARCO Raiders won the coin toss and elected to receive. DB Enrico Martini caught the kickoff near the goal line and raced to the Dragons 2-yard line. Unfortunately the offense was not able to get into the endzone. But Erlsbacher kicked an 18-yard field goal to give the Tyroleans a 3-0 lead with 10:29 minutes left in the first.

The ensuing kickoff resulted in a touchback. The Dragons started at their own 25 with a 9-yard run by RB Florian Pos. The next play was good for a fresh set of downs, but moments later DE Maximilian Pichler sacked QB Jonathan Dally. That play set up the game's first punt. The Tyroleans took over at their own 19. The team then marched close to midfield, before Hofbauer lost the ball while stretching for the first down marker. The Dragons recovered the ball at the opposing 45. After a successful fourth down conversion a 14-yard completion from Dally to WR David Bründl moved the chains once more. Then Dally ran to the 6. Moments later the Dragons also faced a fourth down at the 1-yard line. They decided to go for it, but the defense stopped them shy of the endzone.

Two passes from Callahan to Erlsbacher moved the ball to the 21. Then the quarterback found Tarneller for 11 yards. A penalty against the Dragons moved the ball 15 yards. Then Callahan ran for 6 yards. A run by Hofbauer was good for 5 yards and a pass from Callahan to Taylor gained 8 yards. Later Tarneller caught passes of 13 and 14 yards, respectively. Hofbauer then ran to the 4. On the next play Callahan threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to WR Julian Ebner. It was Ebner's 9th touchdown catch of the season. Erlsbacher added the PAT to give the SWARCO Raiders a 10-0 lead with 2:35 minutes left in the second.

After the kickoff and a short return the Dragons started at their own 19. A pitch from Dally to Tunde was good for 10 yards. Then WR Georg Pongratz caught a 22-yard pass. On the next play WR Thomas Haide caught a pass at the Tyroleans 30. Ogun then hauled in an 8-yarder. A pass from Dally to Haider moved the ball to the opposing 15. But the drive ended when DB Andreas Bertschdeflected a pass and Krause picked off the ball in the endzone. Moments later the first half was over.

The third quarter started with a Dragons drive. After the kickoff and a return they started at their own 22. Three rushes by Dally gained 18 yards. Then Pos ran to the 48. Haider then caught a pass at the Tyroleans 41. But the defense found a way to stop the Dragons and forced a punt. The SWARCO Raiders took over at their own 20. A run by Hofbauer resulted in a first down at the 31. Moments later Ebner dove for a long pass and caught the ball for a 41-yard gain at the Dragons 26. A pass from Callahan to Erlsbacher was good for 6 yards. Hofbauer then ran to the 5. On the next play Callahan threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Tarneller. Erlsbacher added the extra point to extend the SWARCO Raiders lead to 17-0 with 4:16 minutes left in the third.

On the ensuing kickoff DB Patrick Pilger stopped the Dragons returner at the 3. The Dragons moved out of the danger zone with a 15-yard completion from Dally to WR Markus Pachernig. Then Haider caught an 11-yarder. Later Dally escaped the pressure and found Pachernig at the Tyroleans 45. Dally then ran for 9 yards. Later Ogun ran for a first down at the 35 on a fourth down. On the next two plays the SWARCO Raiders defense pushed the Dragons backwards. And on third down Dally threw deep under heavy pressure and Taylor intercepted the pass at the 7. A face-mask penalty on the Dragons moved the ball to the 22.

Miribung opened the drive with a 13-yard run. Then he carried the ball to the opposing 46. On the next play WR Christian Willi caught a 13-yard pass. Then Miribung ran for 9 yards. A pass from Callahan to Erlsbacher moved the ball to the Dragons 14. Next Hofbauer caught an 8-yard pass. And moments later Callahan found Erlsbacher for a 6-yard touchdown pass. Erlsbacher also added the PAT. With 5:14 minutes left in the fourth the SWARCO Raiders were up 24-0.

Erlsbacher's kickoff resulted in a touchback. The Dragons started at their own 25. Two completions to Haider moved the ball to the 48. But two plays later Dally threw another pass under pressure. And once again the SWARCO Raiders were there to pick it off when Krause caught his second interception of the game.

On Saturday, May 25 the SWARCO Raiders host the Helsinki Roosters in the European Football League (EFL) quarterfinals. Kickoff at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).

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