SWARCO RAIDERS win fifth straight


LB Simon Hoser returned an interception for a touchdown (Photo: Markus Stieg)

The SWARCO RAIDERS are red hot. In week 5 of the 2015 Austrian Football League (AFL) season The Oakland Raiders' sister-team defeated the Vienna Vikings 30-17 (13-7; 0-3; 7-0; 10-7).

It was the Tyroleans' fifth straight victory. The Vikings, who had won the first matchup 26-21 fell for the first time this season.

"I'm extremely proud of my team. Anytime you play the Vikings you have to shift into a higher gear and we sure did that today", said SWARCO RAIDERS head coach Shuan Fatah. "This was a great team effort".

The Tyrolean defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions. LB Simon Hoser returned an interception for a touchdown and the DBs Patrick Pilger, Alexander Achammer and Simon Unterrainer all picked off a Vikings pass. DB Enrico Martini recovered a fumble and DL Maximilian Pichler and LB Philipp Margreiter each had a sack.

QB Sean Shelton completed 18 of 30 passes for 233 yards with 2 touchdowns. He also had 12 rushes for 24 yards and a score. RB Fabien-André Gärtner had 9 rushes for 42 yards and scored on a 79-yard completion. WR Christian Willi caught 4 balls for 52 yards and a touchdown.

The SWARCO RAIDERS won the coin toss and elected to receive. DB Vincent Müller returned the opening kickoff to midfield. On the first play from scrimmage Shelton found WR Julian Ebner for 7 yards. Then RB Simon Muigg rushed for 16 yards. Two runs by Shelton gained 12 yards. Moments later the quarterback found Willi for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed, giving the Tyroleans a 6-0 lead with 8:40 minutes left in the first.

After WR/K Fabian Abfalter's kickoff RB Miroslav Stankic returned the ball to the Vienna 47. Two passes from QB Alexander Thury to WR Stefan Postel gained 30 yards. After a 15-yard penalty the Vikings were at the 3. A few plays later Thury threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to WR Bernhard Raimann. K Christopher Kappel made the PAT to give Vienna a 7-6 lead with 5:29 minutes left in the first.

Starting their second drive at their own 30 the SWARCO RAIDERS began with a 13-yard completion from Shelton to WR Max Tollinger. After a 6-yard pass to Muigg and completions of 17 and 12 yards to Willi the Tyroleans were at the Vikings 22. Then Gärtner ran for 12 yards and on the next play Shelton scored from 10 yards out. Abfalter kicked the PAT to give the Tyroleans a 13-7 lead with 2:35 minutes left in the first.

The next drives ended with punts on both sides. Then Postel fumbled and Martini recovered the ball at the Tyrolean 9. After a SWARCO RAIDERS punt Vienna started at its 45. A run by RB Islaam Amadu gained 11 yards. Then Thury found WR Manuel Thaller for 24 yards. With 17 seconds left in the second quarter Kappel kicked a 29-yard field goal to cut the Tyroleans' lead to 13-10.

Vienna's first drive of the second half ended with a punt after Pichler had sacked Thury on the drive's third play. On the ensuig punt return Martini lost the ball and the Vikings recovered. They couldn't cash in on the turnover though as Thury's fourth down pass fell incomplete and the SWARCO RAIDERS regained possession at their 39.

Midway through the third quarter the SWARCO RAIDERS took over at their own 15. Ebner caught a 15-yard pass from Shelton. A penalty cost the team 10 yards, but on the very next play Shelton threw a short pass to Gärtner who broke free and ran 79 yards for a touchdown. Abfalter's extra point gave the Tyroleans a 20-10 lead with 4:35 minutes left in the third.

Vienna's next drive ended with a turnover though. After marching to the Tyrolean 40 Pilger picked off a pass. After a short return and a penalty the SWARCO RAIDERS took over at the opposing 35. Shelton found Ebner for 11 yards. Then WR Adrian Platzgummer caught a 25-yarder. A few plays later Abfalter kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the home-site a 23-10 lead with 10:34 minutes left in the fourth.

The clock was ticking and Vienna needed to tried a more pass-happy approach. But it backfired when Hoser picked off a pass from Thury and returned the interception 25 yards for a touchdown. The PAT gave the SWARCO RAIDERS a 30-10 lead with 9:35 minutes left.

On Vienna's next possession Unterrainer intercepted Thury. After a 10-yard return the Tyrolean offense took over. Shelton led his team to midfield before he punted the ball away. The Vikings began their next drive at their own 20. Thury threw 12 yards to Postel and found Thaller for 28. After a penalty against the Tyroleans Thury threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to WR Mathias Baldauf. The PAT cut the SWARCO RAIDERS lead to 30-17 with 4:40 minutes left.

After another SWARCO RAIDERS punt Vienna's last stand ended when Achammer intercepted Thury.

The SWARCO RAIDERS play their next game on Saturday, May 2. They host German champion New Yorker Lions Braunschweig in the BIG6. With a win the Tyroleans will advance to the Eurobowl.

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