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SWARCO Raiders want to stay unbeaten against Dragons


SWARCO Raiders WR Jakob Dieplinger leads the AFL in receiving. Photo by Schellhorn.

As the Austrian Football League's new top-seed the SWARCO Raiders, marketing teammate of The Oakland Raiders, want to stay on top of the standings heading into their Week 4 matchup. On Saturday (kickoff 10:45 a.m. PT / 7:45 p.m. CET) the Tyroleans play at the Danube Dragons.

Fans can follow the action live on The new live stream includes four different camera angles, slow motion replays, a live-chat and stats.

In two different ways this game is all about keeping a clean slate for the Tyroleans. With a 3-0 record they are the AFL's only unbeaten team and they also have won all seven games they have played against the Dragons.

Santos Carrillo, head coach of the SWARCO Raiders, is well aware of the magnitude of this matchup. "We can make a huge step towards securing a playoff spot. But we cannot afford to take things easy," said Carrillo. "The Dragons are probably the best team we have played this season. Their offense is absolutely dangerous and they also excel on defense and special teams. This will be a tough battle."

These Dragons are a confident bunch. Playing in the Eurobowl competition for the very first time, the team immediately reached the EFL quarterfinals last week. They finished the qualifying round with a 73-0 stomping of the Belgrado Blue Dragons. They also beat the Thonon Black Panthers 50-21 in the first game.

The team from Klosterneuburg started their AFL season with wins over league rookies Salzburg Bulls (49-13) and Generali Invaders St. Pölten (63-55). In Week 3 they lost 13-28 to the Turek Graz Giants.

That weekend the SWARCO Raiders climbed on top of the standings, thanks to a 50-22 win over the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna. And while 50 points might be a lot against the Vikings, it's a common theme for the Tyroleans against the Dragons. In their seven meetings with the Dragons the SWARCO Raiders scored an average of 49.1 points per game. The combined number of points in the matchups between those two was almost 78 points.

Last season the Tyroleans won 52-35 at Korneuburg. WR Jakob Dieplinger caught 8 balls for 133 yards and a touchdown. Dieplinger also is this year's number one receiver in the league. He caught 6 balls for 131 yards and three scores against Vienna and leads the AFL with a total of 19 receptions for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns.

One reason for Dieplinger's great performance against the Vikings was the play of QB Leon Jackson III. He completed a phenomenal 95 percent of his passes (21 of 22) and threw 6 touchdowns. Thanks to this outing Jackson now leads the AFL with 853 passing yards, 10 touchdown passes and a 76.1 completion percentage. Third man in the nix is RB Tory Cooper. The ball carrier ranks first in the AFL with 470 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on 54 carries.

The Dragons offense is a close second, though. RB Andrej Kliman has carried the ball 37 times for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. And the team's new QB, Eric Marty, has completed 45 of 72 passes for 694 yards with 7 touchdowns and only one interception.

Marty plays behind an offensive line that gave up their first three sacks of the season in the loss at Graz. Now they face the AFL's most dominant pass rush. Led by DL Mario Rinner and DE Marquay Love, the SWARCO Raiders have sacked opposing quarterbacks 11 times already. The Tyrolean defense has also allowed only 45.3 rushing yards per game so far and forced seven turnovers.

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