Austria: Swarco Raiders alone in first with solid win over Danube Dragons

In a battle of the unbeatens, the Swarco Raiders (4-0) downed the Danube Dragons (3-1) 34-14 Easter Monday in Wattens, Austria, to take over sole possession of first place in the Austrian Football League.

The Raiders exploded for three touchdowns in the second quarter and then held off the Dragons for the win.

Raiders quarterback Sean Shelton completed 19 of 26 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another with wide receiver Patrick Donahue catching eight of those passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. Running back Sandro Platzgummer caught a touchdown pass as did Marco Schneider. Platzgummer led all Raiders rushers with 61 yards rushing while Tobias Bonatti rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown. Arno Schwarz kicked four extra points.

Chad Jeffries threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns for Danube while rushing for 92 yards. Felix Reisacher and Philipp Haun both caught touchdown passes.

Bonatti opened the scoring on the first possession of the game, capping a 73 yard Raiders drive with an 11 yard touchdown run.

Photo: Bernhard Hörtnagl

After stopping Danube at the 21 yard line, Swarco mounted another clock-eating drive, marching 79 yards in over four minutes with Shelton finding Platzgummer from 16 yards out to finish it off early in the second giving the Raiders a 13-0 lead.

A bad punt by the Dragons then gave Shelton and the Swarco offense the ball on the 50 yard line. Three plays later Shelton connected with Schneider for a 34 yard touchdown and midway through the second quarter, Swarco held a 20-0 lead.

Jeffries was finally able to get his team on the scoreboard, capping a 12 play, 85 yard drive with a five yard touchdown pass to Haun to narrow the lead to 20-7.

Donahue responded, returning the ensuing kickoff 60 yards down to the Danube 28 yard line. Six plays later, Shelton barreled his way into the end zone from eight yards out to give Swarco an almost insurmountable 27-7 lead heading into the half.

The third quarter ended scoreless but Danube drove all the way down to the Raiders five yard line early in the fourth and were stymied. Swarco made them pay as six plays later, Shelton found Donahue in stride fora 53 yard touchdown to increase the lead to 34-7 midway through the final quarter.

The Dragons added a final touchdown with one second on the clock as Jeffries connected with Reisacher for an eight yard major.

Swarco now leads the AFL with a 4-0 record, trailed by Danube in second at 3-1 and the Mödling Rangers in third, also at 3-1.

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