WR Clemens Erlsbacher (L) in last season's home game against Vienna (Photo: Schellhorn)
The Austrian Football League's (AFL) 2013 season continues. On Saturday, April 13 the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, host the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna. Kickoff at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium is at 5:15 a.m. PT (2:15 p.m. CET).
Since the game at the Prague Black Panthers had to be re-scheduled this is only the second contest of the year for the Tyroleans. They beat Graz 31-21 in the season opener.
"With such an important game coming up we're absolutely focused despite the long break," said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "We're expecting a tough matchup at Tivoli stadium. And I'm sure the game will be close until the very end."
The Vikings also played only one game thus far. In week 1 of the AFL season they beat the Black Panthers 31-14 at home. So this Saturday much will depend on how good both teams have used the two bye-weeks. In a game of this magnitude any mistake will be costly. The SWARCO Raiders made that experience the last time these two teams faced each other.
In Austrian Bowl XXVIII the Tyroleans lost 48-34. They turned the ball over three times in last season's championship game and the Vikings scored two touchdowns off these mistakes. In the end those 14 points made the difference.
On Saturday the teams meet for the 31st time in an AFL or EFL (European Football League) game. The Vikings came out on top 21 times. But despite the overall record the SWARCO Raiders were able to win six of the last twelve encounters with Vienna, losing the other six games by an average of 5.17 points.
The Tyroleans hope their offense shows the same firepower as in their season opener. Although the starters played only three quarters against the Giants QB Kyle Callahancompleted 12 of 21 passes for 129 yards with a touchdown and ran for another score. RB Andreas Hofbauer had 8 rushes for 58 yards and caught 3 balls for 19 yards. RB Lukas Miribung carried the ball 8 times for 52 yards and scored once. New import RB Jaycen Taylor hasn't seen any action, yet. From 2011-12 he led Italy's Parma Panthers with 2,932 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns.
WR Talib Wise opened the season with 4 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also added a rushing touchdown and gained 102 return yards. WR Damaso Tarneller caught 3 balls for 44 yards. WR Julian Ebner had a 12-yard catch and WR Clemens Erlsbacher had one catch for 13 yards and added a 13-yard run.
The SWARCO Raiders defense also had a good day against Graz. Despite having to start many new players or having to put players in new positions, Fatah's defense forced a turnover and had 4 sacks.
The team was led by LB Florian Hueter, who had 9 tackles (6 solo), 0.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB/DE Philipp Margreiter had 2 sacks, 5 tackles (4 solo) and 4.5 tackles for loss. DB Enrico Martini had 6 tackles (4 solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss. LB Florian Seeber added 4.5 tackles (4 solo), one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. DL Korbinian Hoffmann had 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.
QB Christoph Gross and new RB Jesse Lewis played well in Vienna's season opener. Gross completed 19 of 27 passes for 258 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Lewis had 17 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown. The other new import WR Michael Zweifel caught 6 passes for 52 yards and a score. WR Laurinho Walch had 4 catches for 55 yards. WR Stefan Holzinger had 2 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Vienna's defense forced three turnovers against Prague (two fumbles, one interception), gave up only 12 yards on 17 rushes (0.7 yards per run) and had 3 sacks. LB Dustin Illetschko led his team with 5.5 tackles (5 solo) and 2.5 tackles for loss. DB Christian Salvinetti had 5 tackles (5 solo). LB Paul Werner, LB Philip Stojaspal and LB Markus Greber each had a sack. DB Benjamin Bubik caught an interception and recovered a fumble. DL Harald Zipfelmayer also recovered a fumble.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2013 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.