One week after their convincing victory over the JCL Giants Graz, the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Prague Panthers. Kickoff at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium for their week 7 matchup in the Austrian Football League (AFL) is on Sunday, May 6 at 6 a.m. PT (3 p.m. CET).
Despite their 5-1 record SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah warns his team to not take the Panthers lightly. "We can't underestimate the Panthers. They are a much better team than last season. Justin Walz has a great connection with the league's best receiver, Jan Dundacek. And running back Amos Allen is a very dangerous player".
On Sunday both teams play against each other for the fifth time. Three of the previous four matchups were won by the SWARCO Raiders. In 2010 the Tyroleans won their first ever AFL matchup against the Panthers 34-17. Last season the Tyroleans won 38-7 at Prague. This year both teams clashed in week 2 with the SWARCO Raiders prevailing 37-10 at Prague.
That game's best player was RB Andreas Hofbauer, who scored three touchdowns and gained 80 yards on 20 carries. QB Kyle Callahan completed 11 of 24 passes for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 7 rushes for 69 yards. WR Julian Ebner caught 5 balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. The SWARCO Raiders defense didn't allow an offensive touchdown and forced a turnover.
This season the Panthers have won only one game thus far. Last Sunday the Czech team defeated the Danube Dragons 41-34 on the road. The Panthers fell 37-33 in their season opener against the Dragons then lost at home versus the SWARCO Raiders. In week 3 they fell 42-28 at Graz before losing 55-0 against Vienna and 36-35 against Graz.
The Panthers major problem is their pass defense. They gave up 19 passing touchdowns and 218.8 passing yards per game – both last in the league. Though their offense plays well. QB Justin Walz completed 75 of 124 passes for 984 yards with 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Walz also ran 70 times for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns.
RB Amos Allen leads the league in rushing attempts (100) and is third in rushing yards (470). In addition he scored eight times. WR Jan Dundacek leads the AFL with 35 catches for 570 yards and 4 touchdowns. WR Jan Stiegler has caught 22 passes for 269 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Prague's defense is led by LB Daniel Krejbich, who has 30 tackles (15 solo) and an interception. LB Jan Simanek had 27 tackles (17 solo), recovered a fumble and had 2 tackles for loss. DL Jan Kolek had 4 tackles for loss. DL Vojtech Svoboda leads his team with 1.5 sacks, although Prague as a team has only 2 total sacks.
The SWARCO Raiders offense is led by Callahan, who completed 64 of 106 passes for 946 yards with 5 touchdowns and one interception. He also ran the ball 37 times for 293 yards and 5 touchdowns. Hofbauer rushed 58 times for 219 yards and 7 touchdowns. Grein had 34 rushes for 183 yards and 2 scores. RB Lukas Miribung gained 84 yards and scored 4 touchdowns on 14 runs.
Ebner leads his team with 16 catches for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns. WR Talib Wise played only two games, but caught 9 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. He also had 7 rushes for 15 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Damaso Tarneller hauled in 15 passes for 203 yards and a touchdowns. He also scored on a 12-yard run. WR Clemens Erlsbacher caught 7 balls for 105 yards.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams. He punted 17 times for 626 yards (36.8 yards per punt). 11 punts were downed inside the opposing 20-yard line. He also returned 4 punts for 132 yards. Clements had 3 punt returns for 122 yards and a touchdown. Wise had 5 returns for 83 yards. The Tyroleans had a total of 15 punt returns for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns. The punt coverage unit allowed only 3 yards on 3 returns.
The team's best kick returner is DB Enrico Martini, who averages 24.6 yards per return (5 for 119 yards). K Christian Kellner was good on 5 of 6 field goal tries and on 23 of 24 points after touchdown.
This season the Tyrolean defense allows its opponents only 11.67 first downs and 236.8 yards per game. CB Manuel Eisenführer caught 2 interceptions and has 16.5 tackles (15 solo). LB Christoph Schilcher has 22.5 tackles (17 solo). LB Philipp Margreiter follows with 19.5 tackles (14 solo), a sack and a punt return touchdown. LB Florian Hueter had 18 tackles (13 solo).
DT Reinhard Pardeller had a sack, forced a fumble, had 4.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 total tackles (13 solo). DE Markus Hechenberger, DL Benedikt Brugnara and LB Mario Rinner each recovered a fumble. In his only game-action this season LB Chris James had 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a blocked punt. S John Clements had 5 tackles and returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2012 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.