RB Andreas Hofbauer scored twice against the Rangers in 2012 (Photo: Schellhorn)
For the first time this Austrian Football League (AFL) season the SWARCO Raiders will go on the road. On Saturday, April 20 The Oakland Raiders sister-team will play at the AFC Rangers. Kickoff at FZZ Wiener Neudorf is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).
"We have to win this game", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "But we will not take the Rangers lightly. This is not the same team we played last season. The Rangers have vastly improved on offense and defense. They are more mature and organized".
Which is exactly what the team proved in its first two regular season games. Although they lost both contests, the Rangers sold themselves at a high price at the JCL Giants Graz and at the Danube Dragons. They already scored 34 points in their first two games. Last season the Rangers had scored a meager 13 points in their first eight contests.
Six times the Rangers failed to score at all – twice against the SWARCO Raiders. In the 2012 season opener the Tyroleans won 52-0 at Mödling. Three weeks later they beat the Rangers 62-0 at Tivoli Stadium.
These were the first two meetings between the two teams after nine years. Between 1999 and 2003 the squads faced each other seven times. The Rangers won the very first matchup 34-20 at home, then lost the other six times. Overall the SWARCO Raiders have scored an average of 63.1 points against the Rangers in all nine duels. They gave up only 17.7 points per game. Five times the Tyroleans scored 73 points or more and three times they didn't allow a single point to the Rangers.
In last season's games the SWARCO Raiders starters played very efficiently. QB Kyle Callahan completed 16 of 23 passes for 246 yards with 2 touchdowns. He also had 11 runs for 121 yards and 3 scores. RB Andreas Hofbauer gained 61 yards on 12 carries and had 2 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung scored three times and had 47 yards on just 8 rushes. WR Julian Ebner caught a total of 4 balls for 70 yards and a touchdown. WR Talib Wise played only one game against the Rangers and caught 3 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
The defense held Rangers QB Craig Maynard to 7 completions for 49 yards on 24 throws and picked off one pass. They also gave up an average of 7 first downs and 145.5 yards per game.
This season Callahan completed 23 of 55 passes for 282 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. He had 10 rushes for 23 yards and a touchdown. Hofbauer gained 95 yards on 17 carries. Miribung had 12 rushes for 55 yards and a touchdown. New import RB Jaycen Taylor hasn't seen any action, yet. From 2011-12 he led Italy's Parma Panthers with 2,932 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns.
Ebner leads his team with 91 receiving yards on 5 catches. Wise caught 6 balls for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also had 7 carries for 26 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Damaso Tarneller caught 5 passes for 70 yards. WR Clemens Erlsbacher caught 2 balls for 24 yards and had a 13-yard run.
Erlsbacher also made 5 of 6 extra points and kicked a 42-yard field goal. As the team's punter he punted 8 times for an average of 40.1 yards per kick with 4 punts being downed inside the opposing 20.
The SWARCO Raiders defense is led by LB Florian Hueter, who had 12 tackles (8 solo), 0.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Fabian Seeber is second with 8.5 tackles (8 solo), 2 tackles for loss, a sack and a recovered fumble. DB Andreas Bertsch and LB Christoph Schilcher had 7.5 tackles (6 solo) each. DL Philipp Margreiter had 5.5 tackles (4 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and an interception. DB Enrico Martini and DB Markus Krause each had 7 tackles (5 solo) thus far. DL Korbinian Hoffmann added 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.
The Rangers are led by Maynard, who completed 11 of 20 passes for 288 yards with 5 touchdowns and one interception. He also had 38 carries for 117 yards. RB Anton Wegan carried the ball 7 times for 39 yards. WR Stefan Postel leads the team with 8 catches for 258 yards and 4 touchdowns.
New import LB Clinton Snyder leads the defense with 9 tackles (6 solo). DB Friedrich Limbeck had 8.5 tackles (6 solo) and DB Lars Gabler also had 8.5 tackles (7 solo). LB Thomas Schaffer had 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2013 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.