The dream of winning back-to-back Eurobowl titles is over. The SWARCO Raiders, sister-team of The Oakland Raiders lost their European Football League (EFL) semifinal game 35-3 (14-0; 14-3; 0-0; 7-0) to the Calanda Broncos. More painful than the loss of the game was the loss of QB Kyle Callahan, who left the game in the second quarter.
"This was a bitter loss. The Broncos were just better than us today”, said SWARCO Raiders head coach Shuan Fatah. “We had a hard time playing our game in the first half. We were tired and then we had to compensate the loss of our quarterback. Still we have to look forward. We have to get that game out of our heads quickly and get ready for the next big challenge”.
Callahan completed 4 of 10 passes for 42 yards with an interception before he got hurt. The 17-year old backup QB Adrian Platzgummer completed one of 3 passes for 13 yards. RB Florian Grein had 13 rushes for 54 yards. WR Talib Wise caught 3 balls for 20 yards and rushed 6 times for 31 yards.
The Broncos kicked off to start the game. The kick resulted in a touchback, giving the SWARCO Raiders the ball at their own 20. But after only three plays the Tyroleans had to punt. After P/WR Clemens Erlsbacher’s punt and a return by WR Steve Valentino the Broncos started at the opposing 30. A 16-yard run by RB DJ Wolfe gave the Broncos a first down at the Tyrolean 6. Moments later QB Marko Glavic threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Valentino. The PAT gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead with 8:03 minutes left in the first.
The SWARCO Raiders second possession also resulted in a punt, after which the Broncos began at their own 48. A run by Wolfe and a pass to Valentino both resulted in first downs. The drive ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Glavic to Valtino. The PAT extended the Broncos lead to 14-0 with 1:50 minutes left in the first.
After S John Clements returned the kickoff to the 29-yard line the Tyroleans started with two rushes by Grein, who gained 8 yards. A run by Erlsbacher was good for 9 yards. Still the Tyroleans were forced to punt. The Broncos regained possession at their own 31 and needed only one play to score. Wolfe found a hole in the middle and ran 69 yards to the endzone. After the PAT the team from Chur was up 21-0 with 11:01 minutes left in the second.
The SWARCO Raiders started their next drive at their own 25. Callahan started the drive with a 12-yard pass to WR Julian Ebner. A pitch from Callahan to Wise moved the ball to the opposing 48. Then Grein rushed for 7 yards. On a fourth down Wise gained 6 yards. Then he ran for 5 yards. But on the next play LB Mark de Swart picked off a pass from Callahan, giving the Broncos the ball at their own 29. On the drive’s first play from scrimmage Wolfe ran 71 yards for another touchdown. The PAT gave the Broncos a 28-0 lead with 6:29 minutes left in the second.
After Erlsbacher returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tyroleans 39, Callahan started the drive with a 5-yard pass to Wise. Grein then ran for 6 yards. That was followed by a 9-yard completion to Wise. RB Andreas Hofbauer ran to the opposing 37 on the next play. Later Callahan rushed to the 25. But on the next play the quarterback got hurt and had to leave the game. Now the 17-year old Platzgummer had to enter the field. The drive ended with a 39-yard field goal by K Dennis Wiehberg, cutting the Broncos lead to 28-3.
The Broncos opened the second half starting at their own 28. A run by Wolfe gave the team from Switzerland a first down at their own 43. Later Wolfe ran to the opposing 28, but after an incomplete pass from Glavic on fourth down the SWARCO Raiders regained possession at their own 19.
Grein gained 11 yards on two rushes. Then Hofbauer had a 5-yard run. But a few plays later the Tyroleans had to punt once again. The Broncos started at their own 29. Although they were able to move the ball they turned the ball over on downs yet again. Starting at their own 26 Grein opened the drive with a 12-yard run. Later he caught a 13-yard pass from Platzgummer. But the Tyroleans turned the ball over on downs moments later. The Broncos started at the opposing 46 with a 10-yard run by RB Tino Muggwyler. On the next play Glavic threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to WR Christian Steffani. The PAT gave the Broncos a 35-3 lead with 9:41 minutes left in the fourth.
Next Saturday the SWARCO Raiders host the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna in their last regular season game in the Austrian Football League (AFL). Kickoff at Tivoli Stadium is at 8:00 a.m. PT (5:00 p.m. CET).