SWARCO RAIDERS celebrate successful double-header

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RB Fabien-André Gärtner scored three touchdowns over the weekend (Photo: Markus Stieg)

Two days. Two games. Two victories. The SWARCO RAIDERS, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, have won both matchups of their recent double-header. On Saturday they beat the Düsseldorf Panther 42-0 (7-0; 21-0; 7-0; 7-0) in the BATTLE4TIROL. On Sunday they defeated the Graz Giants 51-14 (14-7; 14-7; 10-0; 13-0) in the Austrian Football League (AFL).

"I'm extremely proud of this team. What they have accomplished in the last nine days is beyond words", said SWARCO RAIDERS head coach Shuan Fatah after his team played its fourth contest in nine days. "Some of our guys have played in all four games. That is just crazy. We all can be very proud to have such a passionate team here in Tyrol. Now we try to rest and then get ready for our BIG6 opener at Paris".

In their first of two games last weekend the Tyroleans dominated Düsseldorf. QB Sean Shelton completed 21 of 32 passes for 247 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also had 7 rushes for 40 yards and a score. In the absence of injured WR Clemens Erlsbacher WR Kyle Callahan was Shelton's main target. He caught 3 balls for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB David Oku gained 110 yards on only 4 carries. The Tyrolean defense gave up only 198 total yards. DB Talib Wise intercepted a pass. DL Maximilian Wild had a sack and LB Wendell Brown led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo). DB Alexander Achammer opened the scoring with a 91-yard fumble return touchdown with 2:21 minutes left in the first. WR/K Fabian Abfalter added the PAT.

Düsseldorf's next drive ended with a punt. But the rush got to the punter who was tackled by DB Markus Krause. Moments later Shelton threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Callahan. Abfalter made it 14-0 with 10:57 minutes left in the second. Later RB Fabien-André Gärtner scored on an 18-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 with 5:45 minutes left in the second. 2:13 minutes before halftime Shelton threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Callahan to give the SWARCO RAIDERS a 28-0 lead.

A 9-yard touchdown run by Shelton and Abfalter's extra point gave the Tyroleans a 35-0 lead with 5:36 minutes left in the third. The last touchdown came with 8:44 minutes left in the game when JV team RB Filip Vlajic rumbled his way into the endzone from 4 yards out.

About 18 hours after the win over Düsseldorf the SWARCO RAIDERS entered the field again, playing versus Graz in the AFL. The game was played in Wattens where the Tyroleans remain unbeaten in six tries after the 51-14 victory over Graz.

One day after playing receiver Kyle Callahan played QB again, completing 14 of 20 passes for 192 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also led the team with 12 rushes for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Fabien-André Gärtner had 20 carries for 101 yards and a score. He also caught 2 passes for 7 yards and a touchdown.

The SWARCO RAIDERS defense held Giants QB Christoph Gubisch to 157 passing yards and picked him off three times. DB Alexander Achammer had 2 interceptions and DB Patrick Pilger returned his pick 55 yards for a touchdown. DB Enrico Martini led his team with 6 tackles (5 solo). He also opened the scoring when he returned the game's opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. WR/K Fabian Abfalter's PAT gave the home site an early 7-0 lead.

The game's second score came when Callahan threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Gärtner with 4:33 minutes left in the first. But Graz had an answer. RB Mathias Kiegerl scored from 1 yard out to cut the SWARCO RAIDERS lead to 14-7 with 26 seconds left in the first.

Callahan gave the Tyroleans a 21-7 lead with a 34-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Once again Graz countered. Kiegerl scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 9:07 minutes left in the second. Then it was the Tyroleans time to score again, this time Callahan ran into the endzone from 8 yards out. Abfalter's PAT gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 28-14 lead with 6:22 minutes left in the second.

On Graz' first drive of the third quarter Pilger intercepted a Gubisch pass and returned it to the endzone. 10:47 minutes were left in the third with the SWARCO RAIDERS up 35-14. About seven minutes later Abfalter scored on a 25-yard field goal to make it 38-14.

In the fourth quarter a 1-yard touchdown run by Gärtner (PAT missed) and a 38-yard touchdown pass from Callahan to WR Romed Zangerle gave the Tyroleans a 51-14 lead.

The SWARCO RAIDERS play their next game on Saturday, April 18 when they travel to Paris to face the Flash de La Courneuve in the BIG6 European Football League.

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