SWARCO Raiders win big in Prague

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RB Andreas Hofbauer scored three touchdowns (Photo: Schellhorn)

The SWARCO Raiders have won their re-scheduled game at Prague. The Oakland Raiders sister-team celebrated a 46-21 (14-7; 22-14; 7-0; 3-0) victory at the Black Panthers in a week 2 matchup in the Austrian Football League (AFL).

Since the Black Panthers joined the AFL in 2010 it was the Tyroleans fifth win in five contests against Prague. Next Saturday the SWARCO Raiders have the chance to make it six in a row as they host the Czechs at Tivoli Stadium. Kickoff is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).

"We made an important step into the right direction", said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. "The offense was in sync, especially in the first half. And despite missing several starters our defense looked better the longer the game lasted".

RB Andreas Hofbauer had 21 rushes for 128 yards and scored his first three touchdowns of the season. QB Kyle Callahan completed 21 of 31 passes for 296 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. WR Julian Ebner caught 4 balls for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Damaso Tarneller had 8 catches for 125 yards and 3 rushes for 17 yards.

The defense had to overcome the absence of several starters, but the unit forced three turnovers and didn't allow a point in the second half. LB Simon Hoser celebrated his 20th Birthday in style. In his first ever start for the SWARCO Raiders he caught 2 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.

Prague opened the game with a short kickoff, which WR Clemens Erlsbacher returned to the Tyrolean 45. On the drive's second play from scrimmage Callahan found Tarneller at the opposing 19. Then Hofbauer ran to the 6. On the next play Hofbauer scored after a pitch by Callahan. Erlsbacher added the extra point to give the SWARCO Raiders a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

WR Jan Stiegler returned the ensuing kickoff to the Black Panthers 31. After two short completions Shoop found WR Jakub Wolevsky at the Tyrolean 30. A little later the same combo worked for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Wolevsky also kicked the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.

The SWARCO Raiders had a three-and-out on their next series. After the punt Prague took over at their 43. On second down Hoser picked off a pass from Shoop and returned it to the original line of scrimmage. Moments later Tarneller caught a 17-yard pass and a 22-yard pass. Hofbauer finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the SWARCO Raiders were up 14-7 midway through the first quarter.

After the kickoff Prague started at their own 32. A run by Shoop resulted in a first down at the 45. WR Daniel Krsak then caught an 18-yard pass. Later he caught a ball at the Tyrolean 7. After a bad snap Shoop got sacked by DB Simon Muigg und DL Reinhard Pardeller at the 17. But Shoop ran to the 1-yard line on the next play. On fourth down WR Talib Wise tackled RB Petr Datel inches shy off the goal line.

That's where the SWARCO Raiders offense took over. Three runs resulted in 10 yards and a new set of downs. A 23-yard catch by Hofbauer and a 25-yard catch by Erlsbacher moved the chains to the Prague 32. Hofbauer then ran for 11 yards and for 10 yards. He finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. Callahan then fooled the Black Panthers and ran the ball in for two more points to give his team a 22-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

RB Andre Whyte returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Prague 49. Shoop started the drive with an 8-yard run. Later Stiegler caught a pass at the Tyrolean 28. Then Shoop ran to the 7. Moments later Whyte scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. Wolevsky added the PAT to cut the SWARCO Raiders lead to 22-14.

After a short kickoff the SWARCO Raiders offense took over at their 41. A penalty on the first play resulted in a first down. A catch by Erlsbacher at the Prague 41 resulted in another fresh set of downs. Later Callahan threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ebner. It was his fourth touchdown catch of the season. The PAT extended the SWARCO Raiders lead to 29-14 late in the second quarter.

After the kickoff and a good return the Black Panthers started at their own 43. The Tyrolean defense then forced a punt. But Wise muffed the ball and DB Pavel Klems recovered the ball at the 12. On the next play Shoop threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Wolevsky. The PAT was good and the SWARCO Raiders were up 29-21.

But the Tyroleans had an answer right away. They marched 65 yards in three plays to score once more before halftime. Starting at their own 35 Callahan threw a 17-yard pass to Wise on the drive's first play. On the next play he found Tarneller for 18 yards. Then he finished the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ebner. Erlsbacher added the PAT to give the Tyroleans a 36-21 lead just before halftime.

The third quarter started with a Prague drive. The Black Panthers began at their own 20. The Czechs moved to the opposing 44 before Shoop lost the ball on a run and DB Patrick Pilger recovered the fumble at the Tyrolean 34. What followed next were many punts. Late in the third quarter it was the SWARCO Raiders defense that came up with the next score. Hoser intercepted a Shoop pass and returned the ball 55 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good and the SWARCO Raiders were up 43-21.

Later the Tyroleans started at their own 40 after another Black Panthers punt. A pass and a pitch from Callahan to Tarneller resulted in two first downs. Then Hofbauer ran the ball to the 6. The drive ended with a 43-yard field goal by Erlsbacher. The SWARCO Raiders led 46-21 midway through the fourth quarter.

Next Saturday the SWARCO Raiders will host the Prague Black Panthers in the re-match. Kickoff at Innsbruck's Tivoli Stadium is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).

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