Last season the SWARCO Raiders beat the Dragons 31-7 at home (Photo: Schellhorn)
In week 8 of the 2013 Austrian Football League (AFL) season the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Danube Dragons on Saturday, May 18. Kickoff is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET) at Tivoli Stadium.
"The Dragons have to be taken seriously", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "We will try to play as focused and mistake-free as we have in the past few weeks".
The SWARCO Raiders and the Dragons have met a total of 13 times in the AFL and European Football League (EFL) with the Tyroleans winning eleven times. The only two losses came in the 2010 season, one of them in the Austrian Bowl. The SWARCO Raiders have won the last four contests against the Dragons. In 2011 they beat the team from Klosterneuburg 28-0 during the regular season and 29-0 in the AFL Playoffs. Last season the Tyroleans won 31-7 at home and hung on for a 35-27 victory on the road.
Overall the SWARCO Raiders have scored an average of 39.7 points per game against the Dragons and are unbeaten in six home games against them. This season the Dragons have yet to win a road contest. They have won two games and lost three including the last two games.
The SWARCO Raiders offense is led by QB Kyle Callahan, who completed 101 of 160 passes for 1,423 yards with 17 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He also had 28 rushes for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last weekend he threw a personal-best 6 touchdown passes at Graz.
WR Damaso Tarneller leads his team with 27 catches for 421 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Julian Ebner has caught 21 balls for 337 yards and 8 scores. WR Talib Wise has 18 receptions for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed 10 times for 45 yards and 2 scores. WR Clemens Erlsbachercaught 18 balls for 230 yards and a touchdown. He also had 2 rushes for 63 yards.
RB Andreas Hofbauer leads the Tyroleans with 67 rushes for 442 yards and 4 touchdowns. Over the last three weeks he gained 108.3 yards per game. RB Lukas Miribung carried the ball 31 times for 130 yards and a touchdown. RB Jaycen Taylor played only two games, yet he gained 94 yards and scored a touchdown on 15 carries.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams. He converted 26 of 27 extra points and kicked 4 field goals (33, 42, 43, 43 yards). He also had 16 punts for an average of 36.8 yards per punt with 5 punts downed inside the opposing 20. And 20 of his 39 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. On top of that Erlsbacher had 4 kickoff returns for 67 yards. Wise had 3 kickoff returns for 54 yards and 3 punt returns for 87 yards. DB Enrico Martini returned 7 kickoffs for 146 yards. Taylor's lonely return was good for a 78-yard punt return touchdown.
The defense is led by LB Florian Hueter and his 30.5 tackles (21 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Chrisoph Schilcher had 26 tackles (18 solo). He's followed by LB Fabian Seeber, who had 22.5 tackles (19 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery.
DE Philipp Margreiter had 15 tackles (13 solo) with 10.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. He also blocked a punt. Martini had 13.5 tackles (10 solo). DL Korbinian Hoffmann had 4 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. DL Maximilian Pichler had a sack. LB Simon Hoser intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. DB Patrick Pilger and Martini each recovered a fumble and Taylor, who usually plays on offense, picked off a pass as a defensive back.
The Dragons rely heavily on RB Tunde Ogun. He leads his team with 62 carries for 371 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 97 yards and 2 scores. In last year's 35-27 loss to the Tyroleans he rushed for 272 yards and scored three times on 24 carries.
The team also brought back QB Jonathan Dally. He completed 92 of 175 passes for 1,344 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. With 39 rushes for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns he's also the team's second best rusher. WR Thomas Haider caught 31 passes for 492 yards and 7 touchdowns. WR Georg Pongratz caught 28 balls for 434 yards and a touchdown.
LB Martin Winkler leads the defense with 19 tackles (13 solo), 5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. LB Ramon Azim had 16 tackles (12 solo), 2 tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. DL Martin Nemeth and DL Johannes Kain each recorded 2 sacks. DB Thomas Meznik, DB Jakob Baran, Ogun and DB Maximilian Katzenbeisser each caught an interception.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2012 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.