SWARCO Raiders fall in season opener

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WR Adrian Platzgummer(Photo: Schellhorn)

The SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, lost their season-opener. The team from Tyrol, Austria, lost 41-14 (14-7; 20-7; 7-0; 0-0) at the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in a re-match of last year's Austrian Bowl and Eurobowl finals.

In his debut for the Tyroleans QB John van den Raadt completed 13 of 30 passes for 136 yards with 2 interceptions. He ran 8 times for 65 yards. RB Andreas Hofbauer had 15 rushes for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Clemens Erlsbacher caught 3 balls for 33 yards, kicked 2 extra points and returned 4 kickoffs for 110 yards. LB Florian Hueter caught an interception.

Vienna kicked off the game and Erlsbacher returned the ball to the 45. After a short run by Hofbauer and an incomplete pass van den Raadt found Hofbauer on a screen pass that gained 36 yards. A few plays later the drive stalled and Erlsbacher came on for a 30-yard field goal try. But the kick went wide left.

The Vikings took over at their own 20. After two short passes by QB Christoph Gross RB Emmanuel Moody ran for 17 yards. Then Gross found WR Stefan Postel at the Tyrolean 13. On the next play Moody scored. The PAT gave Vienna a 7-0 lead with 8:20 minutes left in the first.

Erlsbacher returned the ensuing kickoff to the 31. A 13-yard pass from van den Raadt to Erlsbacher gave the SWARCO Raiders a first down. Then WR Adrian Platzgummer caught a ball at the Vikings 40. Van den Raadt then ran to the 16. A penalty gave the Tyroleans a fresh set of downs. Hofbauer finished the drive with a 1-yard scoring run. After Erlsbacher's PAT the game was tied 7-7 with 5:31 minutes left in the first.

DB Benjamin Bubik returned the kickoff to the 47. And three plays later the Vikings scored again when Gross found WR Laurinho Walch with a 33-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave the Vikings a 14-7 lead with 4:30 minutes left in the first.

The SWARCO Raiders had to punt on their next possession, giving Vienna the ball at its 22. Moody started the drive with a 19-yard run. He moved his team closer to the opposing endzone with rushes and catches. But Hueter picked off a Gross pass at the 1-yard line to prevent Vienna from scoring. The Tyrolean offense was able to move the ball out of the danger zone, but had to punt again. Vienna took over at its 40. A sack by DL Ralf Stefanitsch was supposed to stop the Vikings, but a few plays later Moody scored on a 6-yard touchdown run. The PAT by K Christopher Kappel extended the lead to 21-7 with 6:50 minutes left in the second.

Erlsbacher returned the kickoff to the 40. On the third play from scrimmage van den Raadt's pass was tipped twice by his own receivers before it ended up in DB Valentin Schulz's hands. Vienna took over at their 40. The drive ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Gross to Postel. With 4:44 minutes left in the second the score was 28-7 Vienna.

The SWARCO Raiders started their next drive at their own 17. Two runs by van den Raadt resulted in two first downs. Then WR Damaso Tarneller caught a 9 yarder. On the next play Platzgummer caught a 12-yard pass. On a fourth down and 10 yards van den Raadt found Erlsbacher for 13 yards. Hofbauer then ran 6 yards. The drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Hofbauer. The PAT was good and cut Vienna's lead to 28-14 with 41 seconds left in the second.

But Vienna wanted more. Starting at their own 20 the Vikings moved the ball near midfield. Then Gross dumped off a quick pass to avoid a sack. Moody caught it and danced 52 yards to the endzone. The PAT was no good, but the Vikings were up 34-14.

Both teams started the third quarter with a punt. Vienna began its second possession at the 33. A pass from Gross to Postel gave the Vikings a first down at the opposing 38. Vienna kept moving the ball and the drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Gross to Postel. The PAT gave the Vikings a 41-14 lead with 3:13 minutes left in the third.

The SWARCO Raiders took over at their own 34. A run by van den Raadt gave the Tyroleans a first down near midfield. But on the next play Bubik intercepted a pass. Vienna could not cash in on the turnover and had to punt. The Tyroleans gave back the favor and punted, too. Vienna marched close to the endzone, before a fourth-down pass fell incomplete. After yet another SWARCO Raiders punt the Vikings brought in QB Alexander Thury. He got intercepted, but a penalty against the defense gave Vienna the ball back. It's easy to say nothing went the SWARCO Raiders way today.

On Saturday, March 29 the SWARCO Raiders welcome the Danube Dragons for their home opener. Kickoff at Tivoli Stadium is at 5:30 a.m. PT (2:30 p.m. CET).

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