Berlin Adler Outlast Top Ranked Raiders in Innsbruck!

The Raider coaching staff made some halftime adjustments and on the first drive from their own 23 moved the ball smartly as Callahan time and again gave the Adler defensive backs problems. He caught two passes for 39 and 31 yards each, and with the ball finally on Berlin’s eight yard line van den Raadt made no mistake taking it in himself to give Swarco a 10-3 lead.

On the ensuing Berlin drive, quarterback Darius Outlaw guided his team on an 11 play, 75 yard drive, mixing his plays up and using his own legs. Wideout Chris Meadows had 29 yards receiving on the drive with Callahan adding 19 , and running back Bjorn Dreier rushing for 12 yards. Outlaw then found Glen McKay in the end zone for a four yard touchdown. A bad snap to kicker Anderson left the score 10-9 in favor of Swarco.

But on the Raiders’ next possession, they were trapped on their own five yard line and Berlin forced them into a safety making the score now 11-10 in favor of the Adler.

The teams traded possession three times before the Raiders picked off a Talib Wise pass attempt and returned it into Berlin territory and starting from the Adler 46 began marching the ball. But the drive sputtered at the Berlin 20 and Clemens Erlsbacher’s 37 yard field goal attempt was blocked.

This time Berlin made no mistake starting from their  own 21, using the pass catching of McKay who picked up 44 yards on his first reception of the drive and the rushing of Talib Wise, who found a seam and scampered 31 yards to score the winning touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game.

The Raiders took over at their own 12 after the kickoff and van den Raadt took the game into his own hands. Time and again he found gaps in the Berlin defensive line rushing for a toal of 55 yards, moving the ball all the way down to the Berlin 38, before penalties and a fumble ended Raider hopes and Berlin ran the clock out with final score 18-10 for the Adler.

This was a clash of two of the top teams in Europe and it showed. The intensity of the game was relentless and when opportunities presented themselves, both teams seized them. This was a game to match the titanic battle between Germany and Austria in the European American Football Championships.

With the win, the Berlin Adler have clinched Group B and a spot in the Big6 European League final on July 19. They will face the winner of the game between the Raffieisen Vienna Vikings and the Dresden Monarchs.


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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.