Austrian champions Swarco Raiders come from behind to defeat Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers

Austria’s Swarco Raiders withstood a furious first half assault by the Polish defending champion Wroclaw Panthers and held them to zero second half points to win their first CEFL game 33-20 in Wroclaw, Poland. Five thousand fans turned up to watch the first international game in the newly rebuilt Olympic Stadium in Wroclaw.

In the come-from-behind victory, Raiders quarterback Sean Shelton scored two touchdowns while teammate Sandro Platzgummer added two including one on a 97 yard kickoff return and Fabian Abfalter kicked two field goals for Swarco.

Wroclaw was paced by quarterback Tim Morovick who scored two touchdowns while Adam Skakowski scored a third.

Photo: Dawid Szulc Photography

The Panthers shocked Swarco taking  an early 13-3 lead in the first quarter as both Morovick and Skakowski scored and the Wroclaw defense held the Raiders to a field goal. But Shelton got the Raiders offense settled down in the second quarter  as he capped a 90 yard drive with his first touchdown closing the gap to 13-10. The Panthers responded with Morovick scoring his second touchdown of the game increasing the Wroclaw lead to 20-10.

Platzgummer then stunned Wroclaw returning the ensuing kickoff 97 yards and the Panthers lead was reduced to 20-17. Swarco then blocked a punt deep in Panthers territory and taking over from the Wroclaw 20 yard wasted no time with Shelton scoring again to give the Raiders the lead for the first time 24-20.

Swarco’s stifling defense then took over in the second half keeping Wroclaw off the scoreboard while Platzgummer scored his second touchdown and Abfalter kicked a second field goal.

Photo: Dawid Szulc Photography

Swarco head coach Shuan Fatah:

This was a tough game. The Panthers have a great team. Ultimately, it was crucial that our defense could stop Wroclaw’s strong offense.”

Wroclaw Panthers head coach Nick Johansen:

“I am proud of this team. We fought to the end, but we made too many mistakes that the Raiders capitalized on. It was a tough game. Now we have to go back to practice, analyze our mistakes and focus on the next game against the Warsaw Eagles.”

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.