SWARCO RAIDERS finish BATTLE4TIROL unbeaten

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RB David Oku scored 3 touchdowns against the Warriors.(Photo: Markus Stieg)

The SWARCO RAIDERS have kept a clean slate in the BATTLE4TIROL. In the fourth and final game of the contest The Oakland Raiders' sister-team defeated British champion London Warriors 35-12 (14-3; 7-3; 14-0; 0-6).

The Tyroleans won all four games in the tournament they created themselves, beating the Stuttgart Scorpions (34-9) and Düsseldorf Panther (42-0) from Germany as well as Swiss champion Basel Gladiators (47-7) prior to the London matchup.

"I'm very proud of how we played the BATTLE4TIROL and how we finished the tournament today. Against a very physical opponent we showed that we can be tough, too", said SWARCO RAIDERS head coach Shuan Fatah. "Knowing that we can play physical, too, will help us in the upcoming playoffs".

RB David Oku had 11 rushes for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass. The former Arkansas State standout had a total of 39 rushes for 457 yards and 4 touchdowns as well as 15 catches for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns in the four BATTLE4TIROL games. He also scored on an 82-yard punt return.

QB Sean Shelton completed 12 of 22 passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Kyle Callahan caught 3 balls for 74 yards and a touchdown. WR Clemens Erlsbacher had 2 catches for 47 yards. The defense allowed only 219 total yards to the most dominating team in the UK. On top of that DL Ersin Gödel and DB Marco Kreidl each had half a sack.

The Warriors won the coin toss and elected to receive. The opening kickoff went out of bounds, giving London the ball at its 35. A 7-yard pass from QB Bradley Thompson to WR Luc-Benjamin Mbemba was good for a first down. Later WR Ian Jacquet caught a 20-yard pass. A few plays later Jacquet kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead with 7:07 minutes left in the first.

The SWARCO RAIDERS began their first drive at their 16 with a 12-yard pass from Shelton to WR Christian Willi. Then Shelton ran to the 38 for a first down. Moments later he threw a short pass to Callahan, who ran 52 yards for the touchdown. K Dennis Wiehberg added the PAT to give the SWARCO RAIDERS a 7-0 lead with 4:54 minutes left in the first. These were the first points the Warriors have given up all year.

London's second drive ended with a punt after LB Wendell Brown stopped the Warriors with two great open-field tackles. The punt was very short, giving the Tyroleans the ball at midfield. On the very first play from scrimmage Oku danced his way through the London defense and into the endzone for a 50-yard touchdown. Wiehberg's extra point gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 14-3 lead with 2:03 minutes left in the first.

The Warriors started their next drive at their own 25. RB Dwayne Watson ran for 10 yards for a fresh set of downs. Later he ran for 8 yards. On the next play his run gave the Warriors a first down at their Tyrolean 42. A penalty cost the SWARCO RAIDERS 15 yards and another run by Watson gave London a first down at the 15. The drive ended with a 23-yard field goal. London cut the SWARCO RAIDERS lead to 14-6 with 5:37 minutes left in the second.

Both teams had to punt on their ensuing possession. After the London punt the Tyroleans took over at their 36. With three rushes by Oku the SWARCO RAIDERS marched to the London 21. Then Erlsbacher caught a ball at the 10. Oku finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. Wiehberg kicked the PAT to give the Tyroleans a 21-6 lead with 40 seconds left in the second.

Oku opened the third quarter with a kickoff return to the 39. On the very first play from scrimmage Oku rushed for 27 yards. On the next play Shelton found Erlsbacher for 43 yards. RB Fabien-André Gärtner finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 28-6 lead with 10:29 minutes left in the third.

After a touchback on the kickoff London started at the 25. Two rushes by Watson moved the chains to the Tyrolean 49. A penalty gave them 15 more yards. But after a sack by Gödel and Kreidl the Warriors had to settle for a field goal. Jacquet missed from 54 yards.

The Tyroleans regained possession at their 37. On second down Shelton threw for 12 yards to Callahan. Then WR Oliver Eslami caught a ball at the opposing 35. After a 5-yard penalty against the offense Shelton found Willi for 17 yards. A couple of plays later Shelton found Oku in the flat. The back then ran 15 yards for the score. Wiehberg kicked the extra point to give the SWARCO RAIDERS a 35-6 lead with 5:34 minutes left in the third.

After punts on both sides London regained possession on a turnover when Erlsbacher muffed a Warriors punt. Starting at the Tyrolean 19 Thompson found Jacquet on the first play from scrimmage for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was blocked. With 9:29 minutes left in the fourth the Tyroleans had a 35-12 lead.

Next Sunday the SWARCO RAIDERS host the Prague Black Panthers in their final regular season game of the Austrian Football League (AFL).

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