CEFL Bowl XIII – Swarco Raiders repeat as champions, beat Turkey’s Koc Rams

With 4,000 fans looking on a Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck, Austria, the Swarco Raiders defeated the Istanbul Koc Rams from Turkey 49-20 to capture CEFL Bowl XIII and repeat as CEFL champions.

Behind a sparkling second half performance by Sandro Platzgummer, when he scored three of his four touchdowns, the Raiders broke open a tense football game and won going away.

Wide receiver, Fabian Abfalter, (#80) was also brilliant scoring the other three touchdowns for the Raiders, all in the first half on passes from quarterback Sean Shelton. Thomas Pichlmann kicked all seven PATs.

Swarco RB Sandro Platzgummer scoring one of his 4 TDs Photo: Goran Milosavljevic Fotografie

For the Rams, quarterback David Whipple was again superb scoring one touchdown and throwing for another. Running back  Ja Vontae Hence also scored as did Kaan Özer.

Platzgummer opened the scoring in the first quarter from seven yards out giving Swarco a 7-0 lead. But on the next series, Ja Vontae Hence broke two sure tackles and sprinted 98 yards to tie the game at 7-7.

Koc Rams QB David Whipple Photo: Goran Milosavljevic Fotografie

The Shelton to Abfalter show took center stage as the duo combined for two straight touchdowns as Abfalter  kept getting behind the Rams secondary and with Shelton’s pinpoint passes he was tough to cover. Whipple responded though battling his way to the end zone from the 15 yard line to close the gap to 21-14.

Shelton wasted no time. On the next possession he hoisted a perfectly thrown 40 yard touchdown pass to Abfalter who hauled it in crossing the goalline to increase the Raiders lead to 28-14 just before the half.

Swarco WR Fabian Abfalter, scoring one of his 3 TDs Photo: Goran Milosavljevic Fotografie

The Rams came out in the second half with Whipple marching his team to the Swarco 15 yard line before connecting with Özer to narrow the lead to 28-20.

That was as close as they got. The rains came and so did Platzgummer. In a sudden heavy downpour, Platzgummer was unstoppable in the second half reeling off touchdown runs of 10 and 70 yards. Then he scored on an amazing 45 yard punt return, breaking four tackles and leaving would-be tacklers flailing their arms and sealing the final score, 49-20.

Swarco Raiders defense was smothering in 2nd half Photo: Goran Milosavljevic Fotografie

After the game, Raiders’ head coach Shuan Fatah was overjoyed:

“We’re back to back champions in one of the premier European championships for clubs (CEFL) and we love it. It was a great challenge, a great, tough game. Koc Rams came to play and we were very nervous in the first half and then the rain came and kind of helped us a little bit. Hats off to Koc Rams, it was an awesome display of their football and we were really, really challenged. I enjoyed how my guys went through it and prevailed, and came out as champs and that’s what it’s all about… (The game) was an advertisement for CEFL which is a tough league to win in and prevail.”

Photos: Goran Milosavljevic Fotografie& Markus Stieg, sportpics.media

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