The Swarco Raiders won CEFl Bowl XII, – the title game of the Central European Football League – by overwhelming the Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia 55-20 in Innsbruck, Austria in front of 3,500 fans at Tivoli Stadium.
With this resounding win, and the way they also handled both the Polish and Danish champions leading up to this game, the Raiders definitely let the rest of Europe know that they are a force to be reckoned with.
The was the second year in a row an Austrian team has taken home the trophy. In 2016, the Graz Giants were victors beating Serbia’s SBB Vukovi Belgrade.
Swarco quarterback Sean Shelton was magnificent and was named game MVP after throwing five touchdown passes and running two more in himself. Running back Tobias Bonatti caught one touchdown pass and rushed for another while Fabian Abfalter, Alexander Nitzlnder, Kyle Callahan and Daniel Saurer caught one each.
For Kragujevac, quarterback Dalton Oliver, in only his fourth start with the team, moved the ball well and threw a touchdown pass to receiver Strahinja Stepovic while also scoring himself on a one yard plunge. Running back Laurent Tshimanga also scored on a 63 yard run.
The Raiders opened up smartly with Shelton marching his team down the field, picking apart the Kragujevac secondary, finally ending the drive himself from two yards out. The Wild Boars responded though as Oliver engineered his own drive capping it by carrying the ball in himself to even the score at 7-7.
Then the floodgates opened for Swarco as they scored three straight second quarter touchdowns with Shelton finding Abfalter and Nitzlnder for scores while Bonatti scored on an eight yard rushing touchdown to give the Raiders a 27-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter offered more of the same with Shelton driving the Raiders down the field and this time throwing a 14 yard touchdown pass to Bonatti to extend the lead to 34-7. Tshimanga reduced the lead to 34-14 on his 63 yard scamper but Shelton connected with Callahan and then scored his second touchdown of the game before the end of the quarter to widen it to 48-14.
With the mercy rule in place in the fourth quarter, the clock did not stop moving. Oliver threw a seven yard touchdown pass to Stepovic to reduce the gap to 48-20. But Shelton answered by keeping the ball on the ground, handing off to Bonatti and then finding Saurer from three yards out to make the final score 55-20.