The defending Czech champions, the Prague Black Panthers will play host to the reigning Central European Football League champions, the Swarco Raiders in the first round of play in the CEFL Western division, Sunday, April 15.
The Black Panthers, newcomers to the CEFL in 2018, played in both the Czech league and the Austrian Football League until 2016 and so faced the Raiders many times before.
Head coach of the Swarco Raiders, Shuan Fatah:
“We know Prague as a physically strong team. They have a lot of offensive power, we must not allow ourselves any mistakes.”
The Swarco Raiders have opened the AFL season in impressive fashion, with three straight lopsided wins.
Meanwhile, Prague, under new head coach Daniel Levy, won their first game of the 2018 season in the Czech Republic in dominating style, overwhelming crosstown rivals, the Prague Lions, 48-0.
Overall, the Raiders have won 13 of 15 encounters with the Prague Black Panthers. Most recently, they blanked Prague 37-0 in 2016, a game that the Black Panthers no doubt have not forgotten.
Swarco quarterback Sean Shelton has thrown for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns so far in 2018 and has not thrown an interception. His counterpart for Prague, Jan Dundacek , who is also the national team quarterback, threw for 114 yards and three touchdowns but added another 54 yards on the ground.
Black Panthers running back William Young carried the ball 11 times for 88 yards and a touchdown while receiver Jan Štiegler caught five passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns and Jakub Woleský hauled in three for 23 yards and another touchdown. Karel Augusta added another touchdown on a pick six.
Wide receiver Daniel Saurer leads the Raiders with 253 yards in receptions and four touchdowns followed by Adrian Platzgummer who has 166 yards and three touchdowns. Raiders running back Sandro Platzgummer leads his team with 222 yards rushing in three games followed by Filip Vlajic with 148 yards and Tobias Bonatti with 147.
On defense, Swarco linebacker Nicolas Melcher leads his team with 15 tackles so far in three games followed by Fabian Seeber. with 11.
Black Panthers linebacker Karel Augusta led his team last week against the Lions with eight overall tackles including seven solo, two tackles for loss and an interception.
While the Raiders are the favorites, the Black Panthers are a tough team to beat in Prague. Under Levy, they can be a very dangerous opponent.