LIVE STREAM: Austrian Bowl Rematch – Swarco Raiders v. Graz Giants (3p CEST, 9a EDT)

The unbeaten Swarco Raiders will take the five hour trip from Innsbruck to Graz, Austria today to take on their 2016 championship game opponents, the Graz Giants. 

In fact, the Raiders have a score to settle, Although they won the title game over Graz, the Giants are still the last team to beat them in regular season play, back  in April 2016.

Swarco head coach Shuan Fatah: 

“We lost in Graz last year, we cannot do that again this year. We can not allow the Giants to start strong. We have to stay focused for the entire game.”

The 4-0 Raiders lead the Austrian league and have the top offense having scored 214 points in four games. The Giants sit in third with a 3-1 record  after wins over the Cineplexx Blue Devils, Mödling Rangers and the Traun Steelsharks. Their only loss came at the hands of the  Ljubljana Silverhawks.

The Raiders have gained a lot of self-confidence in the last few games both nationally and internationally. They have not lost a game  and  in their two international contests against Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers and the Trianbgle Razorbacks from Denmark, have adjusted well at halftime.

Graz enters the game with some confidence in their home park but have to get out to a fast start against a Raiders team that picks up its game in the second half.

As usual, Swarco is led by quarterback Sean Shelton who is among the leaders in passing. But running back Filip Vlajic is having an outstanding year and the Serbian national team player caught a spectacular touchdown pass against the Razorbacks a week ago. Defensively, linebacker Fabian Seeber is the third leading tackler in Austria and has been one of the anchors in the Swarco defense for years.

Graz wide receiver Mendoza Armando Ponce de Leon has caught 22 passes for 340 yards and teammate Phillipp Sommer has caught 16 for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Giants linebacker Thomas Schnurrer is second in Austria with 24.5 overall tackles.

Kickoff Saturday, May 13, 3 pm CET (9 am EDT)


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.