RB Lukas Miribung scored a touchdown against Graz in week 1 (Photo: Schellhorn)
In week 7 of the 2013 Austrian Football League (AFL) season the SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders, travel to Graz to face the Giants. Kickoff on Saturday, May 11 is at 6:00 a.m. PT (3:00 p.m. CET) at Eggenberg Stadium.
"Over the past few weeks we were able to continuously get better. Now we face a real tough task in Graz", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "Since losing to us in the season opener the Giants have become a much better team, too. We have to play mistake-free if we want to win the second game, too".
In week 1 the SWARCO Raiders beat the Giants 31-21 at home. Back then Fatah's team built a 31-0 lead before Graz was able to score late against the second-string defense.
For Giants head coach Nick Johansen it was the fifth loss in five games against his former team since leaving the Tyroleans after the 2010 season. In 2011 the SWARCO Raiders beat Graz 34-20 on the road with all 34 points coming in the second half. Last season the Tyroleans won 33-0 at home, then went to Graz to steal the game 21-20. They also beat the Giants 48-42 in the 2012 AFL playoff semifinals.
But the Tyroleans have become the Giants' nemesis long before Johansen signed with Graz. The SWARCO Raiders have won eight of the last nine meetings in the AFL and European Football League (EFL). They have also won 16 of 29 total contests.
The SWARCO Raiders are led by QB Kyle Callahan, who has completed 78 of 131 passes for 1,114 yards with 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this season. He also ran 19 times for 87 yards and 3 touchdowns.
RB Andreas Hofbauer leads the team with 57 rushes for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns. RB Lukas Miribung had 26 carries for 98 yards and a score. In only two games RB Jaycen Taylor gained 94 yards on 15 carries and scored once. He also caught 5 balls for 58 yards and a touchdown.
WR Damaso Tarneller caught 14 passes for 227 yards in the past two weeks. He leads his team with 24 catches for 382 yards and a touchdown. WR Julian Ebner has caught 16 passes for 292 yards and 6 touchdowns. WR Talib Wise had 11 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns. Two of his three touchdowns came against Graz in week 1. WR Clemens Erlsbacher caught 13 passes for 160 yards and ran the ball twice for 63 yards.
Erlsbacher also excels on special teams. He converted 20 of 21 extra points and kicked two field goals (42, 43). He also had 16 punts for an average of 36.8 yards per punt with 5 punts downed inside the opposing 20. And 14 of his 29 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 6 kickoffs for 126 yards. Taylor's lonely return was good for a 78-yard punt return touchdown.
The defense is led by LB Florian Hueter and his 23.5 tackles (16 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. LB Chrisoph Schilcher had 21.5 tackles (15 solo). He's followed by LB Fabian Seeber, who had 15.5 tackles (13 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery.
DE Philipp Margreiter had 11 tackles (9 solo) with 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Martini had 13.5 tackles (10 solo). DL Korbinian Hoffmann leads his squad with 4 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. DL Maximilian Pichler picked up his first sack of the season last week. LB Simon Hoser intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. DB Patrick Pilger recovered a fumble and Taylor, who usually plays on offense, picked off a pass as a defensive back.
The Giants are led by QB Alex Good. He has completed 58 of 102 passes for 797 yards with 12 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He also is his team's best rusher. leading the Giants with 59 carries for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. The other running back's share a similar load: RB Matthias Kiegerl had 28 rushes for 201 yards. RB Alex Gross had 29 carries for 227 yards and 5 touchdowns. RB Alexander Sanz carried the ball 32 times for 92 yards and 3 scores.
WE Armando Ponce de Leon caught 16 passes for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. WR Philipp Sommer hauled in 16 passes for 164 yards and 2 scores. WR Max Taurer caught 15 balls for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Gross also plays defense, leading Graz with 30 tackles (24 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pick. LB Marco Zoechner had 15.5 tackles (10 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and an interception. LB Florian Probst had 14.5 tackles (11 solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss. DL Maximilian Herdey had 13 tackles (8 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks as well as a forced and a recovered fumble. DB Christof Promitzer caught 3 of the Giants' 7 interceptions. The team has also recovered 5 fumbles.
Watch the SWARCO Raiders 2012 season live and as-live for free onwww.raidersTV.at.