The SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, celebrated a convincing 41-7 (21-0, 13-0, 0-0, 7-7) victory over the AFC Rangers in the finale of the 2013 Austrian Football League (AFL) regular season. The Tyroleans will host the JCL Giants Graz in the AFL playoff semifinals on Saturday, July 13.
It was the SWARCO Raiders tenth win over the Rangers in eleven meetings. It was also their tenth win in a row over the Rangers.
"We wanted to win handily before the decisive part of the season starts", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "Today we played many young players and they all played very good".
QB Kyle Callahan completed 4 of 4 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. QB Andreas Platzgummer completed 2 of 6 passes for 12 yards and had 7 runs for 35 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung had 6 carries for 76 yards and a score. RB Markus Wenzel gained 83 yards on 4 rushes and scored 2 touchdowns. DB Markus Krause caught an interception.
The Tyroleans scored quickly, striking after 123 seconds. DBEnrico Martini returned the opening kickoff 42 yards to the 46. Miribung ran for 12 yards on the opening play. Callahan then threw a 25-yard pass to WR Julian Ebner. Moments later Miribung scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher kicked the extra point to give the SWARCO Raiders a 7-0 lead with 9:57 minutes left in the first.
The Rangers first drive ended with a punt, giving the Tyroleans the ball back at their own 43. On the drive's third play from scrimmage Callahan threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to WR Daniel Saurer. The PAT gave the Tyroleans a 14-0 lead with 7:04 minutes left in the first.
After another Rangers punt the SWARCO Raiders took over on the opposing 44. Platzgummer now entered the game and started with an 11-yard pass to Miribung, who then rushed for 10 yards and 18 yards. Platzgummer finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. Erlsbacher added the PAT for a 21-0 lead with 1:38 minutes left in the first.
The second quarter belonged to Wenzel. But it all started with a great defensive play when Krause picked off a pass from Rangers QB Craig Maynard at the Tyrolean 43 and returned it 11 yards. Miribung ran for 23 yards and for 9 yards. The drive ended with Wenzel's 4-yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good, but the SWARCO Raiders extended their lead to 27-0 with 8:37 minutes left in the second.
Maynard then led his team from the Rangers 24 to the Tyrolean 41. But after a sack by DL Maximilian Pichler and DL Bernhard Wohlfahrt the Rangers had to punt again. DB Patrick Pilger returned the ball 23 yards to the SWARCO Raiders 40. Two plays later Wenzel scored on a 60-yard touchdown run. The PAT gave the Tyroleans a 34-0 lead with 2:48 minutes left in the second.
After punts and missed opportunities on both sides the Rangers finally found a way to score. Maynard scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 4:25 minutes left in the fourth. The PAT cut the SWARCO Raiders lead to 34-7.
But the Tyroleans had one more good drive in them. On the ensuing kickoff Erlsbacher returned the ball 43 yards to the 47. Junior RB Arno Schwarz and junior RB Filip Vlajic moved the chains and Platzgummer scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. K Martin Wetzel added the PAT to give the Tyroleans a 41-7 lead with 55 seconds left in the fourth.
Next Saturday, July 6 the SWARCO Raiders host the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in Eurobowl XXVII. Kickoff for the final of the European Football League (EFL) is at 11:45 a.m. PT (8:45 p.m. CET).