Last year the Broncos beat the SWARCO Raiders in the EFL semfinals (Photo: Schellhorn)
Exactly one year after their bitter loss in the 2012 European Football League (EFL) semifinals the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders get their chance for revenge. On Sunday, June 16 the Tyroleans host the same team they lost to last year: the defending Eurobowl champion Calanda Broncos. Kickoff at Tivoli Stadium is at 5:15 a.m. PT (2:15 p.m. CET).
"Right after the loss a year ago I told my guys that one day we would face the Broncos again", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "Now is that time. Of course we want redemption for last year's painful loss. This will be a close and entertaining game".
Both team's didn't have much trouble advancing to the semifinals. The SWARCO Raiders beat the Finnish champion Helsinki Roosters 52-13 while the Broncos defeated German champion Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns 42-28.
It was the first EFL contest for Cam Olson as head coach of the Broncos. The American took over the team from Switzerland this winter. And he's no unknown to the Tyroleans. Olson worked as the SWARCO Raiders quarterbacks and wide receivers coach during the 2010 season. As head man of the Broncos he's unbeaten, having won his only EFL game as well as all nine games in the Swiss league.
This Sunday the SWARCO Raiders and the Broncos face each other for the third time. The first meeting took place on March 16, 1997 in a preseason game when the Broncos won 33-6 at home. Back then the Tyroleans were still playing in Division I and not in Austria's top division.
Last year the Broncos defeated the Tyroleans 35-3 at Tivoli Stadium in the EFL semifinals. During the game SWARCO Raiders QB Kyle Callahan injured the collarbone in his non-throwing shoulder in the second quarter. This year he's not only in great shape, but also in great form.
In the Austrian Football League (AFL) he completed 131 of 204 passes for 1,872 yards with 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He also had 39 rushes for 148 yards and 4 touchdowns. In the EFL game against Helsinki Callahan completed 14 of 19 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns.
RB Andreas Hofbauer leads the Tyroleans with 83 carries for 555 yards and 5 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung gained 228 yards on 45 rushes with one touchdown. RB/DB Jaycen Taylor had 15 runs for 94 yards und a touchdown. He also caught 10 passes for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns.
WR Damaso Tarneller ist he team's leading receiver with 37 catches for 611 yards and 4 touchdowns. WR Julian Ebner caught 24 balls for 414 yards and 9 touchdowns. WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher had 25 receptions for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Talib Wise caught 18 balls for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 10 rushes for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams. He converted 34 of 35 extra points and kicked 5 field goals (18, 33, 42, 43, 43 yards). He also had 18 punts for an average of 37.5 yards per punt with 6 punts downed inside the opposing 20. And 27 of his 51 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. On top of that Erlsbacher had 5 kickoff returns for 90 yards. Wise had 3 kickoff returns for 54 yards and 3 punt returns for 87 yards. DB Enrico Martini returned 9 kickoffs for 272 yards. Taylor had 2 punt return touchdowns (65 yards, 78 yards).
The SWARCO Raiders defense is led by LB Florian Hueter and his 40.5 tackles (27 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Chrisoph Schilcher had 34.5 tackles (24 solo) and a tackle for loss. He's followed by LB Fabian Seeber, who had 31.5 tackles (25 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery.
DE Philipp Margreiter had 19 tackles (17 solo). He also leads the AFL with 13.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. Margreiter also forced 2 fumbles, caught an interception and blocked a punt. DB Markus Krause had 18 tackles (11 solo). Martini had 17.5 tackles (12 solo). DL Korbinian Hoffmann had 4 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. DL Maximilian Pichler had 2 sacks. LB Simon Hoser intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. Krause and Taylor also caught 2 interceptions each. DB Patrick Pilger and Martini each recovered a fumble.
In the EFL game against the Roosters DB Alexander Achammer led the Tyroleans with 9 tackles (9 solo). In his first game of the season DL Chris James had 8 tackles (7 solo) and 2 interceptions. He also returned one pick for a touchdown. Taylor also scored on a pick six. Krause caught an interception as well.
The Broncos come to Innsbruck with many new faces, although the focal point of their offense remains RB D.J. Wolfe. He had 21 touches against the Unicorns in the EFL quarterfinals and gained 311 yards while scoring 5 touchdowns.
QB Josh Firm is a new member of the team. In his EFL debut he completed 18 of 35 for 272 yards with 4 touchdowns and one interception. While Wolfe caught 11 passes for 201 yards and 3 scores against the Unicorns the rest of the receiving corps combined for 7 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. In the Swiss league WR Christian Steffani and WR Aappo Saloranta are the main targets for Firm.
06/16 – 5:15 a.m. PT – SWARCO Raiders Tirol (AUT) vs. Calanda Broncos (SUI)
06/16 – 6:00 a.m. PT – Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna (AUT) vs. Berlin Adler (GER)
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2013 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.