WR Talib Wise scored the SWARCO Raiders first touchdown (Photo: Schellhorn)
The SWARCO Raiders got their revenge. Oakland's sister-team defeated the Calanda Broncos 37-7 (2-7; 10-0; 7-0; 18-0) in the European Football League (EFL) semifinals in a re-match of last year's semis. By beating the 2012 Eurobowl champion the Tyroleans reached the final for Europe's crown for the fourth time since 2008. They're going to face the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in the Eurobowl as the Vikings beat Berlin Adler.
"We have won a very important game. It was another step towards reaching our goal", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "I'm very proud of my team and the effort they gave today".
RB Andreas Hofbauer had 23 carries for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Talib Wise caught 4 balls for 59 yards and scored once. QB Kyle Callahan completed 21 of 33 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. WR Damaso Tarneller caught 5 passes for 48 yards. WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher was responsible for 15 points. After giving up 35 points to the Broncos last year the SWARCO Raiders defense allowed only 7 points. Wise and DB Alexander Achammer each had an interception.
The SWARCO Raiders won the coin toss and elected to receive. After a short kickoff DL Chris James fell on the ball at the Tyrolean 45. But three plays later the SWARCO Raiders had to punt. After Erlsbacher's punt the Broncos started at their own 21. A three-and-out forced them to punt, too. But the Tyroleans second possession ended with yet another punt, giving the team from Chur the ball at their own 7. On the first play from scrimmage a bad snap led to the ball rolling out of the endzone, giving the SWARCO Raiders a 2-0 lead with 7:04 minutes left in the first.
After the free kick the SWARCO Raiders had to punt for the third time. The Broncos started at their own 20. A fumble and a penalty moved the ball back to the 8, then QB Josh Firm hit RB D.J. Wolfe at the 36. RB Tino Muggwyler carried his team to the Tyrolean 47. Then WR Christian Steffani caught a 38-yard pass. And moments later Firm threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to WR Aappo Saloranta. The PAT gave the Broncos a 7-2 lead with 1:46 minutes left in the first.
After the ensuing kickoff and a touchback the Tyroleans started at their 25. Wise turned a short pass from Callahan into a big play, running to the opposing 32. But moments later the drive stalled. Erlsbacher's 47-yard field goal try went wide.
After the Broncos gave the ball back when they had to punt, the Tyroleans started at their own 38. Callahan ran for 6 yards and 8 yards. Then a penalty gave his team 15 yards. Not able to score a touchdown the SWARCO Raiders settled for a field goal. This time Erlsbacher was good, splitting the uprights from 49 yards out. With 8:34 minutes left to play in the second the SWARCO Raiders trailed 7-5.
Starting their next possession at their own 25 a pitch from Firm to Wolfe was good for 18 yards. A penalty moved the ball to the Tyrolean 45. But then Achammer picked off a pass from Firm at the Tyrolean 22. A penalty moved the ball back, but WR Julian Ebner caught a 13-yarder to erase it. Then Tarneller caught a 6-yarder. Hofbauer then ran to the 39. A pass to Tarneller gave the Tyroleans a first down at the Broncos 46. Wise then caught a 9-yarder. Tarneller caught a pass from Callahan at the 33, then Ebner caught an 11-yarder. Two rushes by Hofbauer moved the ball to the 1. Then Wise scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good, giving the SWARCO Raiders a 12-7 lead with 79 seconds left in the second.
The third quarter started with a Broncos possession. The Swiss team started at their 25. A long run by Muggwyler resulted in a first down at the Tyrolean 40. But a few plays later the defense stopped the Broncos on fourth down and the Tyroleans received the ball at their 31. Hofbauer opened the drive with a 5-yard run. Then Ebner caught a 9-yarder. RB/DB Jaycen Taylor then hauled in a 10-yard pass. After a 7-yard Hofbauer run Tarneller caught a pass at the Broncos 24. Moments later Hofbauer scored on a 19-yard touchdown run. Erlsbacher added the extra point to give the SWARCO Raiders a 19-7 lead with 5:43 minutes left in the third.
After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff the Broncos took over at their own 25. On the second play from scrimmage James sacked Firm at the 19. One play later the Broncos had to punt. The Tyroleans took over at their own 31. Callahan found Taylor at the 43 to start the drive. Then Hofbauer ran for 6 yards. Tarneller then caught a pass at the opposing 41. Callahan found Wise for 17 yards then ran for 7 yards himself. A penalty gave the Tyroleans a first down at the Broncos 9. The drive ended with a 20-yard Erlsbacher field goal to extend the lead to 22-7. 11:56 minutes were left on the clock in the fourth.
Yet again the Broncos started at their own 25 after Erlsbacher's kickoff resulted in another touchback. Firm found WR Adrian Sünderhauf for 16 yards. Wolfe then ran for 18 yards. Next WR Hilton Dawson caught a pass at the Tyrolean 25. But a penalty moved the ball back to the 45 and a few plays later the SWARCO Raiders defense stopped the Broncos once again on fourth down. Taking over at their own 26 the Tyroleans moved the ball methodically with Callahan's sure passing and Hofbauer's runs. Standing at their 47 Callahan found Taylor for a 50-yard gain. Moments later Callahan threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Erlsbacher. Erlsbacher then fooled the Broncos by throwing a pass to Wise into the endzone instead of kicking the PAT. The successful two-point conversion gave the SWARCO Raiders a commanding 30-7 lead with 5:36 minutes left in the fourth.
Starting at their own 25 again Firm moved the Broncos to the opposing 35 with two long completions and thanks to a penalty against the Tyroleans. But again the defense stiffened and stopped Calanda on fourth down. The SWARCO Raiders had to punt on the ensuing drive. But on their next possession the Broncos turned the ball over. Wise intercepted a Firm pass and ran the ball back to the 11. On the very next play Hofbauer scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach. Erlsbacher added the PAT and the SWARCO Raiders were up 37-7 with 1:51 minutes left.
Next weekend the SWARCO Raiders travel to Vienna to face the Raiffeisen Vikings in their last road game of the Austrian Football League (AFL) regular season. Kickoff is on Sunday, June 23 at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).