Game 1: Raiders 44 – Dragons 20
With the new signees D.J. Wolfe and Brandon Collier both watching on from the sidelines, the Raiders got straight back to business following last week’s loss to the Vikings with a convincing win over the Danube Dragons. The first half for the Raiders was everything their performance against the Vikings last week was not, with their running game finding good enough traction to open up their short and controlled passing game in order to pick up multiple first downs. The Dragons on the other hand could not get out of their own way on offence, with multiple fumbles and penalties, ending and stalling drives as Cary Grossart valiantly battled the constant pressure of the Raiders defensive line in desperate attempts to keep drives alive.
Hofbauer kicked off the scoring with a monstrous 43 yard run before adding a second, slightly shorter, touchdown run to take the Raiders into a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The Raiders quickly added to their lead with a field goal and a passing touchdown from VDR to Platzgummer on a completely blown coverage. With the Raider looking to go into halftime with a comfotable 23-0 lead, the Dragons showed their first signs of life offensively as Grossart stamped his authority on the game, leading a 62 yard drive which cumulated in him hitting Thomas Haider in the front corner of the endzone to keep the Dragons in touch.
The Dragons stormed out of the gates in the second half, who despite having Grossart sacked for 16 yards, managed to come back the next play with a 21 yard touchdown throw from Grossart to Pongratz. The Raiders however were unphased, as they answered with a score of their own through Hofbauer on the very next drive, before finally killing the game by snagging themselves an interception of Grossart straight after.
The game finished with the Raiders putting on a couple more scores as they controlled both the possession and the Dragons offence as the clock wound down. For the Raiders, this was almost the perfect way to bounce back following their week one loss, whilst the Dragons actually showed us that the can hang with the big boys but are just lacking a little execution as well as a slightly stingier defence. The Raiders now take a couple of weeks break from the AFL before returning in week 5 against the Giants whilst the Dragons also have a week off before taking on the Vikings in their next game.