The Mödling Rangers open their Austrian Football League season at home when they host the Swarco Raiders (1-0) at Stadion Mödling Saturday, March 31, in Mödling, Austria.
This will be a totally different Rangers team than the 2017 version that finished with a 4-6 record and out of the playoffs. In both meetings with Swarco in 2017 the Rangers were hopelessly outclassed losing 55-16 and 58-13.
Rangers head coach Armin Schneider has managed to sign one of the top quarterbacks in the Austrian Football League in 2017, Dylan Potts who was an All American at West Liberty University. While finishing as the fifth leading passer in 2017 while playing for the Danube Dragons, Potts also led the league in rushing. Schneider then brought in another All American, also from another Austrian club as defensive back O’Neil Blake has moved over from the Graz Giants.
Swarco Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah has again put together a powerhouse of a team led by Sean Shelton at quarterback. The Raiders opened their season with a 65-6 shellacking of the Bratislava Monarchs (Slovakia) with Shelton throwing for 250 yards and four touchdowns and Sandro Patzgummer rushing for 184 yards and a touchdown. Filip Vlajic also had an outstanding day rushing the ball with 128 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders receiving corps includes Patrick Donahue who had five receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown as well as Daniel Saurer and Alexander Nitzinader who each had 61 yards receiving and a touchdown apiece.
The return of Donahue, who suffered a season-ending injury before the season began in 2017, was a welcome one for Swarco. He was the leading kick returner in Germany before signing with Swarco and he stayed with the Raiders while recuperating, helping to coach. Add to this the signing of defensive back Marcus Bratton who played for the Rangers in 2017, and running back David Oku who also has returned to Innsbruck, and the Raiders are formidable.
Needless to say, Schneider and his Rangers squad will have their work cut out for them.