SWARCO RAIDERS win big in BIG6 opener

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WR Kyle Callahan caught three touchdown passes (Photo: Schellhorn)

The SWARCO RAIDERS' dream to play in the franchises fifth Eurobowl final is alive. On Saturday the sister-team of The Oakland Raiders defeated the Flash de La Courneuve from France 47-14 (0-7; 14-0; 19-7; 14-0) in the first group game of the 2015 BIG6 European Football League season.

On May 2 the Tyroleans host German champion New Yorker Lions from Braunschweig with a chance to qualify for the BIG6 championship game.

The win was the second straight in three international encounters between the SWARCO RAIDERS and Flash. It was also the fourth straight victory this season for the Austrians, who beat Stuttgart, Düsseldorf (both in the BATTLE4TIROL) and Graz (AFL) in recent weeks. In those four wins the SWARCO RAIDERS scored 174 points while allowing only 37.

"This win was extremely important. We have it in our own hands to reach the Eurobowl", said SWARCO RAIDERS head coach Shuan Fatah. "We improved our game again. That's what I wanted to see. The French gave us all they could in the first half, but the longer the game went the better we played. Overall I feel like the offense, defense and special teams all did a fine job".

QB Sean Shelton completed 20 of 28 passes for 249 yards with 4 touchdowns and one interception. He also had 11 rushes for 58 yards. WR Kyle Callahan caught 7 balls for 106 yards and 3 touchdowns. RB David Oku had 6 rushes for 40 yards and scored on a kickoff return touchdown. RB Fabien-André Gärtner had 14 rushes for 61 yards. He scored twice. The defense forced and recovered three fumbles.

In the first half of the game both teams met each other eye to eye. The Flash took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when QB Paul Durand threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to WR Loic Lesuperbe.

The SWARCO RAIDERS turned the game around in the second quarter. Gärtner scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. WR/K Fabian Abfalter kicked the PAT to tie the game. Later WR Adrian Platzgummer scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to give the Tyroleans a 14-7 lead.

In the third quarter a 4-yard touchdown pass from Shelton to Gärtner gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 21-7 lead. Paris answered with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Durand to Lesuperbe to cut the deficit to 21-14.

On the ensuing kickoff Oku caught the ball at the 9-yard line and ran 91 yards into the endzone. The PAT was blocked, but the SWARCO RAIDERS took a 27-14 lead.

The Tyroleans regained possession after a Flash fumble. Moments later Shelton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Callahan. The extra point was blocked again. The SWARCO RAIDERS were up 33-14.

The SWARCO RAIDERS scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. First Shelton found Callahan in the endzone from 23 yards out. Then Shelton threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Callahan to give the Austrians a 47-14 lead.

Next weekend the SWARCO RAIDERS host the Vienna Vikings in the Austrian Football League (AFL). Kickoff at Gernot Langes Stadium in Wattens is at 6:00 a.m. PT.

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