LIVESTREAM: Austrian Semifinals – Danube Dragons @Swarco Raiders, Sat. July 13, 4p CEDT (10a EDT)

The undefeated Swarco Raiders (11-0) get set to defend their Austrian Football League crown Saturday, July 13 at Innsbruck’s Tivoli Stadium when they play host to the Danube Dragons (7-4) in the first semifinal game.

The Raiders are making their 11th straight trip to the AFL semifinal stage while Danube  is making its ninth appearance in the semifinal round in 10 years although they have only made it to the final once in that time span, in 2010, when they won it all. The Raiders have won in the semifinals every year since 2010 and captured the AFL title four times in that time span including three of the last four.

Swarco won the only meeting between the two teams in the regular season, downing the Dragons 34-14.

Two weeks ago, the Raiders handed the Dacia Vienna Vikings a 35-10 defeat to win the ECTC crown to cap a remarkable season which saw them go undefeated in the AFL regular season and then win all their four international games.   They needed a late-game rally to defeat the Calanda Broncos 46-42 in CEFL Bowl XIV. They had previously defeated France’s Thonon Black Panthers who they dominated 41-7. They manhandled the Milano Seamen from Italy, 50-23.

The Raiders defeated the Mödling Rangers 31-20 in the final week of the Austrian regular season and downed the Graz Giants the week before 37-30. They had celebrated a third consecutive CEFL championship title win, coming from behind to defeat Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos 46-42The week before, Swarco downed the Dacia Vienna Vikings 34-13 in the Charity Bowl and sit atop the Austrian Football League standings.

Swarco quarterback Sean Shelton has thrown for 2,297 yards and 31 TDs while rushing for another 379 yards and 5 TDs in the AFL.. He has a lot of weapons at his disposal including Sandro Platzgummer who has rushed for 383 yards. Shelton’s top receiver is Patrick Donahue who has 442 yards in receptions and 5 TDs although he did not play in the win over the Giants.

Danube enters the game after winning their wild card matchup against the Project Spielberg Graz Giants, beating the Giants, 24-17.  They had lost their final two regular season games, dropping a 27-21 decision to the Vikings and then losing a close game, 34-31, to the Black Panthers. In last week’s win over Graz, Dragaons quarterback Chad Jeffries threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns with Felix Reisacher his key target hauling in 10 passes for 164 yards and one touchdown while Reinhard Knaus and Rhone caught the other two. Knaus kicked a field goal and three extra points.

Jeffries wound up fifth in the passing yardage ranks throwing for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns. Dragons WR Phillipp Haun was 5th with 749 yards and 10 TDs. Jeffries was the leading rusher for Danube with 586 yards rushing Defensively for Danube, linebacker Florian Albrecht is a key. He led the team with 40.5 tackles.

Although the odds favor Swarco, the Dragons have the weapons to pull off the upset.

Watch the game live here. Danube Dragons @Swarco Raiders, Sat. July 13, 4p CEDT (10a EDT)

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