LB Simon Hoser intercepted two passes at Prague last weekend (Photo: Schellhorn)
The SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Prague Black Panthers in a doubleheader. Just six days after their road game at Prague the Tyroleans welcome the Czechs in Innsbruck. Kickoff for this Austrian Football League (AFL) matchup is on Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).
"It's never easy to play to consecutive games against the same opponent", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "The Black Panthers will try to change some things in their game and it's hard to prepare for that. So all we can do is practice hard, play mistake-free and give it a hundred percent".
Which is exactly what the SWARCO Raiders have done last Sunday in their first encounter with the Black Panthers. The offense gained 479 yards with 193 yards coming on the ground. The defense forced three turnovers, held Prague scoreless in the second half and scored a touchdown. And the SWARCO Raiders won 46-21.
It was the Tyroleans fifth victory in five tries against Prague since the team from the Czech Republic joined the AFL in 2010. The Tyroleans dominated all five contests with a combined score of 207-69. They also have beaten Prague 56-14 in last season's European Football League (EFL) quarterfinals. The 56 points scored and the 42-point margin were two team records for the Tyroleans in their EFL history.
As for the Panthers, last Sunday's loss was their first game after head coach Tom Smythe stepped down; continuing the team's downfall season. Yet the year has started so positive for the Czechs. Late last year the Prague Panthers and their inner-city rival Black Hawks decided to merge and become the Black Panthers. Together they wanted to become a contender in the AFL.
But thus far the team hasn't won a single game this season. They lost their season opener 31-14 at the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna. They fell 41-13 at the Danube Dragons and lost their home opener to Graz (23-7). They also lost in the EFL qualification round.
The SWARCO Raiders will try to ake full advantage of the situation. Last Sunday QB Kyle Callahan did just that. He completed 21 of 31 passes for 296 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. On the season he completed 59 of 104 passes for 838 yards with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also had 17 rushes for 56 yards and two scores.
WR Damaso Tarneller caught 8 passes for 125 yards at Prague. He leads his team with 18 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown. WR Julian Ebner hauled in 4 passes for 78 yards and two scores last Sunday. Overall he has caught 13 passes for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns. WR Talib Wise caught a total of 11 balls for 98 yards and a touchdown. He also had 10 carries for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Clemens Erlsbacher caught 9 balls for 125 yards and had 2 rushes for 63 yards.
RB Andreas Hofbauer gained 128 rushing yards on 21 carries at Prague and scored three times. Overall he had 41 rushes for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung ran the ball 16 times for 67 yards and a touchdown. RB Jaycen Taylor gained 59 yards on 12 carries and scored once in one game this season.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams. He converted 16 of 17 extra points and kicked two field goals (42, 43). He also had 14 punts for an average of 36.2 yards per punt with 5 punts downed inside the opposing 20. And 12 of his 22 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. On top of that Erlsbacher had 4 kickoff returns for 67 yards. Wise had 2 kickoff returns for 28 yards and 3 punt returns for 87 yards. DB Enrico Martini returned 5 kickoffs for 122 yards.
The SWARCO Raiders defense is led by LB Florian Hueter. He had 20.5 tackles (14 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in three games. LB Christoph Schilcher had 15.5 tackles (10 solo). LB Fabian Seeber had 12.5 tackles (10 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. DE Philipp Margreiter had 10 tackles (8 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Martini had 12.5 tackles (10 solo). DE Korbinian Hoffmann had 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss. DL Maximilian Pichler had his first sack of the season at Prague. LB Simon Hoser intercepted two passes last Sunday and returned one pick for a touchdown. DB Patrick Pilger recovered a fumble at Prague.
Prague is couting on QB Andrew Shoop. He completed 62 of 109 passes for 824 yards with 5 touchdowns and a league-worst 9 interceptions. He also ran the ball 42 times for 159 yards and a score.
RB/DB Andre Whyte had 22 rushes for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is also the squad's second best receiver with 13 catches for 112 yards. Number one in that department is WR Jan Stiegler with 14 catches for 293 yards and a touchdown. WR Dan Balazovic has hauled in 8 balls for 137 yards and a touchdown. On Sunday WR Jakub Wolevsky had a breakout game, catching 6 balls for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the season he has caught 9 passes for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Prague's defense has allowed an average of 194.75 rushing yards per game. The team's top tackler is LB Dan Krejbich with 22.5 tackles (15 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Tomas Svoboda had 22.5 tackles (14 solo). LB Bohuslav Rom had 13 tackles (8 solo). DB Jan Kabat had 20.5 tackles (16 solo). LB Milos Hildebrant had 14.5 tackles (10 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. DL Lukas Jira und DL Jan Simanek each had a sack. DB Jiri Hamal caught an interception.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2013 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.