QB Sean Shelton gave his SWARCO RAIDERS debut at Vienna (Photo: Schellhorn)
This Sunday the SWARCO RAIDERS get their opportunity for revenge. In week 5 of the 2015 Austrian Football League (AFL) season The Oakland Raiders' sister-team hosts the Vienna Vikings, who beat the Tyroleans in the season opener. Kickoff at Gernot Langes Stadium in Wattens is at 6:00 a.m. PT (3:00 p.m. CET).
Information: In 2015 the SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol will broadcast games of the BATTLE4TIROL and BIG6 competitions only. No AFL regular season games will be shown. More information on the broadcasting schedule on *www.raidersTV.at.*
"After a bumpy start we came on strong lately. We won four games in a row – all in convincing fashion. That speaks volumes", said SWARCO RAIDERS head coach Shuan Fatah. "Obviously the Vikings present a huge challenge. Games against Vienna are always very emotional. We want to do things better than in our first meeting with them."
Having a deep roster the Vikings were able to overcome several key losses to start the season 3-0. Vienna is the only unbeaten team in the AFL and sits in first place.
After beating the SWARCO RAIDERS 26-21 in the season opener the Vikings celebrated a close 31-30 victory over the Prague Black Panthers on the road. Last weekend they beat the Danube Dragons 47-10.
The SWARCO RAIDERS lost their first two games of the season. But they were able to quiet any doubters with four wins in their last four games. First they beat the Stuttgart Scorpions 34-9 in the BATTLE4TIROL. A week later they defeated the Düsseldorf Panther 42-0 in the same competition. Just 20 hours later they beat the Graz Giants 51-14 in the AFL. Last weekend the Tyroleans won 47-14 in their BIG6 opener at Paris.
On top of winning four straight the SWARCO RAIDERS have not been beaten in Wattens. They played six games in their "second home" and won all of them – including a 55-24 beating of the Vikings on June 15, 2008. It was the widest margin in team history in a win over Vienna.
And it was one of ten victories over their arch rival. Vienna though came out on top 28 times. The last win over the Vikings came last season when the SWARCO RAIDERS won 22-20 at home.
#12 Sean Shelton (QB, SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol): Sean Shelton played only one AFL game thus far. He started in the season opener at Vienna, completing 19 of 29 passes for 250 yards with 3 touchdowns and one interception. Last weekend he completed 20 of 28 passes for 249 yards with 4 touchdowns and one pick in the BIG6 opener at Flash de La Courneuve. He also had 11 rushes for 58 yards.
#22 Fabien-André Gärtner (RB, SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol): Fabien-André Gärtner is starting to become the go to guy in the Tyrolean backfield. He leads his team with 34 rushes for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns in the AFL. In the BIG6 he gained 61 yards on 14 carries and scored twice.
#20 Patrick Pilger (DB; SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol): Military athlete Patrick Pilger has started well into his first season as a starter. He had 13.5 tackles (12 solo) and a tackle for loss in the BATTLE4TIROL. He leads his team in AFL action with 12.5 tackles (11 solo), a tackle for loss, a sack and 2 interceptions. He was named the AFL's Player of the week last week.
#15 Alexander Thury (QB, Vienna Vikings): In his first season as the unquestioned starter Alexander Thury has completed 69 of 110 passes for 995 yards with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He also had 8 rushes for 29 yards and a score. In the season opener against the SWARCO RAIDERS he completed 24 of 37 passes for 326 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
#20 Islaam Amadu (RB; Vienna Vikings): Midway through the 2014 season the Vikings named Islaam Amadu their starting running back. He scored his first touchdown in the Austrian Bowl. This year he gained 208 yards on 45 carries and scored once. He had 16 rushes for 80 yards in the season opener.
#49 Simon Blach (LB; Vienna Vikings): With 12 tackles (8 solo) Simon Blach is Vienna's second best tackler. He also had 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. He also forced 2 fumbles. Against the SWARCO RAIDERS he had one forced fumble and a sack.