Swarco Raiders Capture 2nd Straight Austrian Championship

The Swarco Raiders, Europe’s number one team, were definitely on a mission Saturday night as they dominated the Graz Giants in Austrian Bowl XXXII in every facet of the game to take one of the most lopsided title wins in Austrian Bowl history beating the Giants 51-7.

This was the fifth Austrian title for the Raiders and their first back-to-back championship.

Playing in front of a roaring crowd of just under 5,000 fans at Wörthersee Stadion Klagenfurt, the Raiders scored early and scored often in the first half as Graz had no answers for the Swarco onslaught.

Swarco quarterback Sean Shelton was named game MVP after completing 22 of 26 passes (85%!) for 314 yards and three touchdowns. He picked apart the Giants secondary with surgical precision. Tobias Bonatti,  Adrian Platzgummer and Sandro Platzgummer all caught touchdown passes. Defensive lineman Jermaine Guynn, who doubles as a bruising running back, scored three rushing touchdowns as the Raiders offense rolled up 399 yards in offense. Benedikt Hagleitner added a fumble recovery touchdown while wide receiver/kicker Clemens Erlsbacher kicked a field goal and added six PATs.

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Raiders QB Sean Shelton earned game MVP honors with a dominant performance. Photo: Swarco Raiders

Swarco took charge from the opening whistle scoring on their first four possessions while holding Graz to three punts. In fact, the Giants did not record their first first down until midway through the second quarter. However, a fumble on the same drive led to a Swarco touchdown giving the Raiders a 35-0 halftime lead.

The third quarter opened in much the same fashion with the Giants being forced to punt. Swarco capitalized on a poor punt giving them great field position scoring in four plays to take a 42-0 lead still early in the period.

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Jermaine Guynn and Sandro Platzgummer scored touchdowns. Photos: Swarco Raiders

Graz finally got on the scoreboard as quarterback Christoph Gubisch mounted a five play drive and, aided by two 15 yard penalties, scored a two yard touchdown with three minutes left in the quarter to make the score 42-7.

That was all Graz could manage though as Swarco scored another touchdown and added a field goal while the defense quashed the Giants final drive deep in Raiders territory with an interception.

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.