Austria: Swarco Raiders Down the Vienna Vikings for Fifth Straight Win!

[tps_title]Swarco Raiders on a roll with emphatic win over arch-rivals![/tps_title]

The Swarco Raiders made a definite statement Sunday and left now doubt that they are in the hunt for the Austrian crown. In beating the Vienna Vikings 30-17 in front of a delighted home crowd, they made it clear that all roads go through Innsbruck.

Raiders quarterback Sean Shelton, making his second start in Austrian league play, was efficient in completing 18 of 30 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart for the Vikings, Alexander Thury on the other hand, had a dismal evening  completing just 16 passes on 44 attempts and tossing four interceptions, one for a touchdown.

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The victory leaves the Raiders 2-2 in Austrian league play and 5-2 overall. Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah;

“Five wins in a row, I am incredibly proud of my team. Against the Vikings you have to keep going and going higher and we succeeded. It was a great team effort, and I would like to highlight our defense. You do not force five turnovers against the league leaders every day.”

The Vikings committed five turnovers two of which led to Swarco touchdowns. Linebacker Simon Hoser returned an errant Thury pass for a touchdown and defensive back Patrick Pilger picked off another which eventually led to a touchdown.

Adding to his 233 yards passing Shelton also rushed 12 times for 24 yards and another touchdown. Thury was under relentless pressure all night and Raiders defensive lineman Maximilian Pichler and linebacker Philip Margreiter each had a sack.

The first half was even as neither team could gain much of an edge with the Raiders taking an early lead on a Shelton to Christian Willi touchdown pass . The Vikings responded as Thury threw a one yard touchdown pass to Bernhard Raimann.

However, a Vikings drive down to the Raiders 12 yard line late in the second quarter was snuffed out as receiver Stefan Postel who otherwise had a solid game, fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Swarco. A Vikings touchdown there would have changed the momentum of the contest.

The first half ended 13-10 in favor of the Raiders and the third quarter saw much of the same see saw battle without either team gaining an advantage. But with four minutes to go in the period Sean Shelton found receiver Fabien-Andre Gärtner for a 79 yard touchdown. The extra point was good and Swarco was on a roll kicking a field goal and scoring another touchdown on Simon Hosel’s 25 yard interception return extending their lead to 30-10.

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Thury tossed a 15 yard touchdown to Mathias Baldauf with four minutes left but that was all they could muster as the Raiders picked the harried Vikings quarterback off one last time with just over a minute to go.

This was a true team victory for Swarco as their defense forced five turnovers and put pressure on Alexander Thury all night. Linebacker Fabian Seeber was all over the field and had seven tackles to lead the Raiders. Vikings receiver Stefan Postel quietly caught eight passes for 86 yards and running back Islaam Amadu rushed 19 times for 100 yards but was not a factor in the second half as Vienna had to play catch up after falling behind 20-10.

Next up for Swarco are the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions on May 2 in Braunschweig in Big6 action. Vienna heads to Berlin to play a Big6 game on May 3 against the defending Big6 champion Berlin Adler.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.