On Saturday the SWARCO Raiders and Vikings meet for 36th time(Photo: Schellhorn)
On Saturday, May 3 Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium will be host to the biggest matchup of week 6 in the Austrian Football League (AFL). The SWARCO Raiders, sister team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna. Kickoff is at 8:00 a.m. PT (7:00 p.m. CET).
"The Vikings haven't lost a game in quite some time. They will be very confident", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "We have to play extremely focused if we want to have a chance to beat them. But we know that nobody is unbeatable and nothing is forever".
Speaking off nothing is forever, both contestants – the Tyroleans and the team from Vienna – almost had some winning streak come to an end last weekend. The SWARCO Raiders blew a 30-point lead and then needed double-overtime to keep their winning streak against Graz alive, beating the Giants 54-51. The Vikings had never lost to the Prague Black Panthers, but almost fell last Sunday. Vienna needed a furious fourth-quarter comeback to win 34-31 on the last play of the game.
It was the Vikings fourth win this season. The unbeaten league leader has beaten the Danube Dragons 31-10 the previous week. Before that they beat the Black Panthers 27-7 on the road. The Vikings started the season with a 41-14 win at home over the SWARCO Raiders.
The Tyroleans now have lost eight games in a row to the Vikings. They have won only 9 of 35 matchups, losing 26 games.
Just last season did the Vikings win four times in four games against the Tyroleans. They won 48-13 at Innsbruck, then beat the SWARCO Raiders 24-6 at home. Vienna also won both finals-meetings. First the Vikings won Eurobowl XXVII 37-14 at Tivoli Stadium. Later they defeated the Tyroleans 48-31 in the Austrian Bowl championship game. The last time the Vikings actually have lost a game was on July 21, 2012 in the 2012 Eurobowl.
To end Vienna's winning streak the SWARCO Raiders offense has to play a complete game. QB John van den Raadt has completed 47 of 94 passes for 645 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the AFL. He also had 35 rushes for 294 yards and 5 touchdowns.
RB Andreas Hofbaueralready scored 7 touchdowns in the AFL. He gained 294 yards on 43 carries. RB Lukas Miribung had 5 rushes for 27 yards and a touchdown. RB Markus Wenzel gained 12 yards on 4 rushes.
WR/K Clemens Erlsbacher caught 11 balls for 154 yards in the AFL. WR Adrian Platzgummer had 11 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown. WR Julian Ebner caught 6 passes for 111 yards. WR Damaso Tarneller caught 8 balls for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Erlsbacher also remains the focal point on special teams. He kicked 3 field goals and 10 extra points. He had 8 kickoff returns for 194 yards and punted 8 times for 315 yards (39.4 yards per punt).
On defense DL Philipp Margreiterleads the SWARCO Raiders in the AFL with 16.5 tackles (12 solo), 5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and 3 sacks. LB Fabian Seeber had 16 tackles (11 solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss. LB Florian Hueter had 15 tackles (12 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception. He also scored a safety in the BIG6 game against the Calanda Broncos. DB Simon Unterrainer had 7.5 tackles (6 solo) and a tackle for loss. DL Reinhard Pardeller had 7 tackles (5 solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss.
DB Markus Krause had 11.5 tackles (10 solo). He also caught 2 interceptions. DB Simon Muigg had one pick. DB Arno Andreas had 13 tackles (12 solo). In the BIG6 he caught 2 interceptions. DL Maximilian Pichler had 2 sacks. DL Ralf Stefanitsch and DL Korbinian Hoffmann each had a sack. DB Enrico Martini added a tackle for loss. DL Philipp Popp recovered a fumble and had 0.5 tackles for loss. LB Simon Hoser recovered a fumble and had one tackle for loss.
The Tyrolean defense does not know yet which quarterback they are going to face on Saturday. Starting QB Christoph Gross has a partially torn LCL in his knee. In his absence backup QB Alexander Thury has started the last two games. He completed 43 of 71 passes for 742 yards with 6 touchdowns and one interception. Just last weekend he threw for almost 500 yards (482).
Against Prague a week ago the Vikings also had to play without RB Emmanuel Moody (neck). Thus far he gained 345 yards and scored 6 touchdowns on 49 carries. He also caught 8 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. In the season opener against the SWARCO Raiders he had a total of 194 yards and 3 scores. His backups are RB Islaam Amadu (28 carries, 87 yards) and RB Anthony Stevenson (12 carries, 48 yards).
WR Laurinho Walch is playing a huge season thus far. He caught 22 balls for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. WR Stefan Postel has caught 17 balls for 309 yards and 3 touchdowns. WR Manuel Thaller hauled in 11 balls for 169 yards. WR Dominik Bubik caught 7 passes for 114 yards.
On defense LB Dustin Illetschko is playing another strong season. He leads his team with 19 tackles (15 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. LB Stefan Ruthofer had 16 tackles (11 solo). DB Benjamin Bubik had 13 tackles (12 solo), a tackle for loss and an interception. DB Andreas Lunzer had 10.5 tackles (10 solo) and 2 interceptions. DL Paul Werner leads his team with 2.5 sacks. LB Simon Blach had 2.5 tackles for loss. DL Alexander Taheri had 2 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2014 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.