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SWARCO Raiders Win in Prague


S John Clements (7) snagged his third interception of the season. Photo by Schellhorn.

The SWARCO Raiders, marketing teammate of The Oakland Raiders, have won their third straight game to start the 2011 Austrian Football League (AFL) season. After winning at Graz they celebrated a 38-7 (7-0; 14-0; 7-7; 10-0) victory at the Prague Panthers.

Despite heavy winds QB Kyle Callahan scored 4 touchdowns. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 183 yards with two touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also gained 62 yards on 7 carries and scored twice on the ground. RB Florian Grein rushed 9 times for 40 yards and a touchdown. His only reception of the day also resulted in a touchdown. WR Christian Willi caught 3 balls for 47 yards. WR Talib Wise gained 121 total yards on offense and special teams and also scored a touchdown.

The Tyrolean defense had another great outing, allowing only 179 total yards and forcing three tournovers. S John Clements caught his third interception of the season. LB Florian Hueter also picked off a pass. The SWARCO Raiders also recovered a fumble.

After the Panthers kicked off the first half, the SWARCO Raiders had to punt on their first possession. The twelve-time Czech champion had to punt on their opening drive, too. And after Wise returned the ball 21 yards the Tyroleans started their second drive at the Prague 44. A 21-yard pass from Callahan to WR Jakob Dieplinger gave the Austrians a first down at the 13. Two plays later Grein scored from 9 yards out. K/WR Pascal Maier added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 6:25 left in the first.

After a second Prague punt the Tyroleans started at their own 2-yard line. Callahan got picked off at the SWARCO Raiders 17, but the Tyrolean defense forced and recovered a fumble immediately, giving the guest site the ball at their own 14. The SWARCO Raiders offense then marched deep into Panthers territory, yet again turned the ball over. This time DB Jan Kabat intercepted Callahan at Prague's 4-yard line. Callahan threw his third interception on the following drive. Again it was Kabat, who picked of the ball – only this time in the endzone.

But the Panthers couldn't turn the turnovers into points, thanks to the SWARCO Raiders defense. After the third interception it was on them to make a play. Hueter picked off a pass from QB Ryan McManus at the Prague 38 and returned the ball 7 yards. After a 3-yard run by Grein, Callahan threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Wise. Maier added the PAT to give the SWARCO Raiders a 14-0 lead with 4:38 left in the second.

After a punt on each side the SWARCO Raiders defense made the next big play. With about a minute left to play in the second quarter Clements intercepted McManus at the Prague 40 and returned the ball to the 17. The Tyroleans didn't waste any time, scoring on the very first play from scrimmage when Callahan found Grein for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The PAT extended the lead to 21-0 with 58 seconds left before halftime.

The second half started with another Panthers punt. Clements returned the ball 55 yards to Prague's 27-yard line. Wise opened the Tyroleans first drive of the second half with a 6-yard run. Then Callahan ran for 15 yards. The quarterback finished off the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Maier's extra point gave the SWARCO Raiders a 28-0 lead with 8:27 left in the third.

With the third quarter winding down the Panthers offense finally found some rhythm. Starting at their own 35 McManus lead his team to the 1-yard line, highlighted by a 34-yard pass to WR Martin Sindler. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Veikka Lehtonen. The Panthers added the extra point, cutting the SWARCO Raiders lead to 28-7 with 49 seconds left in the third.

But the Tyroleans had an immediate answer. Starting at their own 19 a 14-yard pass from Callahan to Willi and a 17-yard pass to WR Enrico Martini moved the ball into enemy territory. Later Willi caught a 26-yard pass from Callahan at the Panthers 11. On the very next play Callahan ran into the endzone. The PAT was good. The SWARCO Raiders were up 35-7 with 10:13 left in the fourth.

After a sack by DE Reinhard Pardeller the Panthers had to punt yet again, giving the SWARCO Raiders the ball at their own 36. Callahan lead his team close to the endzone. The drive ended with an 18-yard field goal by Maier. 2:36 before the final whistle blew the SWARCO Raiders had a 38-7 lead.

Next week the SWARCO Raiders play their third straight road game. On Sunday, April 17 they play against the Raiffeisen Vikings at Vienna.

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