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SWARCO Raiders host Dragons


RB Andreas Hofbauer (Photo: Schellhorn)

In week 2 of the 2014 Austrian Football League (AFL) season the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Danube Dragons on Saturday, March 29. KJickoff at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium is at 5:30 a.m. PT (2:30 p.m. CET).

Follow the SWARCO Raiders live on ***. The live stream for this week's game starts on March 29 at 5:15 a.m. PT (2:15 p.m. CET).*

"We have to look forward. We can't make the same mistakes we made in the season opener at the Vikings", said SWARCO Raiders Tyrol head coach Shuan Fatah. "The Dragons will be a tough test for us and we have to play a very focused game".

While the Tyroleans lost their first game of the new season 41-14 at the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in a re-match of last year's Austrian Bowl and Eurobowl finals, the Dragons celebrated a 14-13 overtime victory over the Giants Graz.

It was the sixth year in a row that the Dragons have won their season opener. Their last loss in a week 1 game came in 2008 at the hands of the SWARCO Raiders when the Dragons fell 34-12 at Innsbruck.

It was one of many victories for the Tyroleans over the Dragons as they have won 13 of the 15 AFL and European Football League matchups. The only two losses came in 2010.

Since then all six meetings have been rather lopsided. The SWARCO Raiders have shut out the Dragons in three of those six games. They scored an average of 32 points over that span while giving up only 10.8 points per game.

In 2011 the Tyroleans won 28-0 in the regular season and beat the Dragons 29-0 in the AFL playoffs. In 2012 they won 31-7 at home and celebrated a 35-27 victory on the road. Last season the Tyroleans won 24-0 at home and secured a 45-31 victory on the road.

In his debut for the SWARCO Raiders QB John van den Raadt had a solid game. Facing constant pressure he completed 13 of 30 passes for 136 yards with 2 interceptions, but led his team with 65 yards on 8 rushes.

RB Andreas Hofbauerscored 2 touchdowns at Vienna and gained 40 yards on 15 carries. He also caught a 36-yard pass. RBLukas Miribunghad 3 rushes for 14 yards and RBMarkus Wenzelgained 12 yards on 2 runs.

WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher caught 3 balls for 33 yards. In his first game as a receiver former backup QB turned WR Adrian Platzgummer had 3 catches for 31 yards. WR Damaso Tarneller caught 3 passes for 15 yards.

Erlsbacher also was the focal point on special teams. He kicked 2 extra points, had 4 kickoff returns for 110 yards and punted 5 times for an average of 38.4 yards per kick.

On defense LB Florian Hueter had 7 tackles (5 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss and an interception. DB Simon Unterrainer had 7.5 tackles (6 solo) in his first start of his young career. DL Philipp Margreiter had 6.5 tackles (5 solo) and a tackle for loss. DL Ralf Stefanitsch had a sack. DL Korbinian Hoffmann and DL Reinhard Pardeller each had a tackle for loss.

Just like the SWARCO Raiders the Dragons also start the season with a new quarterback. Cary Grossart is replacing Jonathan Dally. In his debut Grossart completed 19 of 33 passes for 241 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions an. He also had 8 rushes for 38 yards.

His best receiver is WR Thomas Haider. Last season he caught 71 passes for 1,067 yards and 10 touchdowns. He started this season with 12 catches for 133 yards, WR Michael Terzer caught a 44-yard touchdown pass against Graz.

While the receiving corps is set the running game is in a bit of a flux. RB Tunde Ogun left the team. He and Dally combined for almost 1,000 yards rushing. Against Graz RB Dominik Kecskemeti was the team's leading rusher. He gained 46 yards on 9 carries and scored a touchdown.

On defense LB Niko Stieldorf had 5.5 tackles (3 solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss. DB Christian Kober had 4 tackles (4 solo). LB Martin Winkler, last season's top tackler with 41.5 had only one tackle against the Giants. DB Schahin Gholami had 2 tackles for loss and a sack. And DB Matthias Rebl and DB Maximilian Katzenbeisser each had an interception.

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