Stuttgart Surge take down Raiders Tirol in historic low-scoring game

In by far the lowest scoring game of the young European League of Football season, the host Stuttgart Surge edged the Raiders Tirol 6-3 to remain unbeaten and hand the visitors their first loss of the year.

While many expected this game to be close, as both teams entered the game undefeated, nobody would have expected it to be as low scoring as it was.  In their first three games, the Raiders had averaged over 36 points a contest while the Surge averaged over 27 points a game in their first two contests.  But sometimes games happen that defy all logic and expectations, and that is what took place on Sunday in Stuttgart.

After each team’s offense did not score points on their first possession, the Raiders had the ball on Stuttgart’s eight yard line, but a botched handoff resulted in a fumble recovery for the Surge defense.  The Raiders turned the ball over again on their next drive as quarterback Christian Strong was intercepted by defensive back Goran Zec, but the Surge offense could not take advantage of their defense’s efforts.  

Surge WR Bryce Nunnelly #19. Photo: FSP Sportfotos/Florian Schust

In the second quarter, Stuttgart had the ball in Raider territory, but a fumble by running back Asnnel Robo ended that possession.  After more punts, the Raiders got the ball with just over five minutes left before halftime and managed to put together a productive drive.  However, they stalled out in the red zone right before halftime, but kicker Niklas Sanin finally broke the deadlock with a field goal as the first half expired.

The Surge got the ball after halftime and looked like an efficient offense, as they put together a drive that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Reilly Hennessey to Louis Geyer.  This would be the first and last touchdown of the day, although the extra point was no good.  The Raiders were stopped on 4th and short on their next drive, and the Surge responded by fumbling in Raider territory on their subsequent possession.

Each of the next five drives resulted in punts, and Stuttgart got the ball with six minutes left in the fourth quarter.  With the Raiders having only one timeout, the Surge managed to use their running game to slowly but surely advance the ball and wind out the clock, as the game ended with a score of 6-3.

Raiders QB Christian Strong Photo: FSP Sportfotos/Florian Schust

Though both offenses were disappointing, the Surge certainly had the statistical advantage, as they nearly doubled the Raiders in offensive yardage (328-177).  The Raiders had been known for their elite passing game but managed just 135 net passing yards.  Stuttgart clearly built their gameplan around stopping league-leading receiver Jarvis McClam, as he was held to just 17 yards on five catches.  

According to @aroundtheelf on Twitter, this becomes the lowest scoring game in ELF history with just nine total points.  This may not have been the most exciting game to watch, but Surge fans were certainly happy to watch the home team win.

The Surge play in Munich against the Ravens next week, while the Raiders will look to bounce back against the Milano Seamen.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.