The Saints started the game with a pooch kick that they recovered! Roosters were not ready for the kick and the Saints started the game in good field position. After a few successful plays the Saints were in field goal range on 4th down. I was thinking “could someone in the Maple League actually gain a lead on the Roosters?” Yea right. . . The next play the saints had a horrible snap which led to chaos and of course no points. And that was the last time the Saints had a chance to have a lead in this game.
The Rest of the Game
In the first quarter the Roosters defensive line prolonged drives consistently by jumping offsides. Once they settled that down the game took shape as it should have, Roosters piling on points and shutting down the Saints offense. With the score 27-0 at half the Roosters started putting in their second string players and other substitutes. By the end of the 3rd quarter the score was 34-12 and it looked like the Saints would fight for a decent game ending score. Looks can be deceiving, and the Roosters backups out scored the Saints 28-6 in the 4th quarter. The blame lies squarely on the shoulder of the Saints defense. The offense fought hard all game to make plays and be successful, the defense rolled over in the fourth quarter and made the game look much worse than the first three quarters showed. The Saints defense gave up on their teammates, that’s just bad football.
Stars of the Game
Micah Brown only participated in the first half due to the blowout status of the game. Mic didn’t use his arm, as he decided to make his impact this game through the rushing game with an impressive 50 yard touchdown to begin the scoring for the Roosters.
Jaycen Taylor also saw limited time in this game but made his presence known while doing his best Beastmode impression refusing to go down on his 50 yard touchdown rumble. He led all rushers with 86 yards on only 5 carries.
Curtis Slater WAS ON FIRE!!! Curtis must have a really cool nickname, someone let me know what it is so I can address him properly from now on! Small in stature but always making BIG plays, Slater had the entire stadium in awe after his reverse field 86 yard punt return with the help of about 5 crucial blocks from teammates. At the end of his punt return I’m not sure if he was tired, or just took advantage of the fact that everyone on the saints team had been put on the ground, but it was amazing to see him basically walk those last 10 yards to the end zone. And C-Slate(could that be a nickname?) didn’t stop there! Later in the game he took an interception 71 yards for a touchdown, and I’m not sure if anyone actually touched him. Damn good game C-Slate!
Bernard Luster quietly led all receivers with 93 yards on 6 receptions. Luster is one of the most dynamic people on the field but does a great job being patient for his moments and making them count. After three quarters, Luster had caught all of the Roosters 3 completed passes. Of course the 4th quarter is when the Roosters really opened up the score and Luster was an important part of that as he made hard catches look easy.
Kimi Linnainmaa was quiet all game until the 4th quarter where he scored a 26 yard touchdown to contribute to the scoring party.
Runningback Alexander Kuronen scored 2 touchdowns in the game and added 39 yards to the rushing totals on 7 carries.
Karri Pajarinen exploded into the game in the 4th quarter with a 60 yard touchdown that was brought back by a holding penalty. I had no idea who this guy was, but his speed was undeniable. It wasn’t long before he was back in the end zone on a 19 yard score followed by a 45 yard touchdown. If this guy is the future of the Roosters, they have a very bright future!
Saints Notable Performers
Dajon Newell saw only one series as he went down with an upper body injury in the 1st quarter. I hope he heals well and gets back to it soon.
Dominic Bona played a good game, but the Saints would have needed a great game to win. 9 for 16, 193 yards, 3 touchdowns & 1 interception are good numbers for a quarterback. Dominic tried hard all game to put his team in a position to score and make plays, but his offensive line was outplayed and his receivers had trouble getting open in time. The few times Bona had good protection he mad big plays, that just didn’t happen very often. This quarterback can really play, but the Saints are not to the level of the Roosters.
Juwan King played in this game? He shadowed Bernard Luster on defense, allowing him 93 yards receiving, made 3 tackles, and had 5 kickoff returns for 73 yards. I’m posting his stats because without them I would not have known he was on the field. Personally I think King is a great talent and could help the Saints be competitive in the maple league, but against the Roosters his talent was squandered and non existent. Hopefully the Saints can figure out a better way to get him in situations to affect change in their games, too much talent to not be utilized.
Runningback Tuukka Lehtonen did what he could with the line he had. 22 carries for 60 yards is horrible by most standards, but Lehtonen did a great job just not letting every run be a negative play. Tommi Pinta was the big play receiver for Bona in this game scoring on both of his two catches for 58 total yards. Receiver Henri Laine had one big catch and otherwise remained quiet all game with 3 receptions for 54 yards. Eero Hiltunen put up a score as well with a 53 yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter to bring his total yardage to 72 for the game. These offensive numbers are decent, it just so happens that the other team put up 66 points.