TAFT vs Trojans part 2: Both teams have their American quarterbacks and squads at full strength, no excuses allowed. With the addition of talent both teams played better than their first meeting, but the end result was the same: Trojans win in a blowout . But oh boy was it exciting! For the first 2 1/2 quarters.
So much talent in Vantaa
The biggest surprise of the match was the position swap of Cole Webb and Cedric Johnson. Originally I thought “What the hell is TAFT doing?” But as the game wore on and TAFT leaned more towards a heavy dose of Johnson at quarterback and Webb at receiver it all made sense. Cedric took control of the offense as a pure leader and Webb complimented that perfectly as a playmaker at wide receiver. This combination helped TAFT put up an impressive 27 points!
Chris Douglas is UNSTOPPABLE!
First offensive play for the Turku Trojans: Touchdown by Chris Douglas! And of course he didn’t stop there, he continued to dominate by scoring another touchdown the next drive. I personally enjoyed the showmanship of the flip into the end zone. Since the best things come in threes, Chris decided to go for the American Football Hat Trick! Watching this live was amazing as you could see him change speed and direction to make 7 defenders miss him. 190 all-purpose yards just backup the fact that Chris Douglas does what Chris Douglas wants and there’s nothing anyone can do about it!
Webb the Receiver?
I must admit, I was skeptical when I saw young Webb lined up at receiver at the beginning of this game. Fortunately, four quarters was just enough time for Webb to prove me wrong and put up 3 touchdowns of his own. The Webb show began with a beautiful one-handed grab late in the 2nd quarter. With 1 second left in the half, Johnson connected with Webb on a post route, where he then proceeded to break 2 tackles to make his second score of the game. This is when the game was interesting at 27-21 at half time. Webb finished his scoring early in the 4th with another great catch. He contributed to the rushing and passing game from his traditional quarterback role, as well as returning a few kicks. His 152 all-purpose yards proved that Webb is much more than a quarterback, he is a unique football talent who is here to compete.
Max Shortell is Damn Good!
This was my first time seeing Max Shortell in action, and he did not disappoint! Shortell made great throws all game and helped ensure the victory for the Trojans. 18-24, 5 tds, 304 yards proves that this guy is a force to be reckoned with in the Maple League. I know he technically threw three interceptions, but if you watched the game you would know that 2 of those were dropped passes by his receivers. So minus the ONE bad throw, Shortell threw a minimum of 20 good passes out of 24. If that’s not damn good, I don’t know what is!
La Trice Little plays BIG
La Trice Little made his last football game this season count. The basketball player turned football player made his presence known by making two interceptions in this game. The second pick would be his last play of the season as he took it as far as he could before being tackled out of bounds and falling awkwardly on his arm, sustaining a season ending injury. I hope him a quick recovery so he can be ready for basketball season.
Perrineau brings Pressure
The stats don’t tell the complete story of what happened out on that field Friday night. Anyone who watched the game saw James Perrineau everywhere! Johnson never had a clear pocket to throw from, he was always on the move or trying to avoid Perrineau. It’s not as sexy as a lot of tackles or sacks, but if the Maple League kept stats for hurries and knockdowns Perrineau would be one of the league’s leaders. Did I mention that Perrineau was mostly double teamed and still created this pressure?
Welcome Back QB Cedric Johnson
Cedric Johnson is an accomplished Maple League quarterback with tons of experience leading teams to winning ways. TAFT is no different for him as he took over the offense and made them more than competitive while tossing 4 touchdowns on the day and throwing almost 50 total passes. In the first quarter Johnson used his athleticism to escape pressure(Perrineau) and then threw a perfect pass to the back of the end zone for a touchdown catch by Joel Sisler. After that everyone knew TAFT would keep this game competitive.
Jim Barry’s long day
Jim Barry led all players in tackles with 10 total. Not one of those tackles came easy as he spent of the day chasing down Chris Douglas. For the most part he was successful in bringing the running back down, but the few times he didn’t, well we know what happened. I personally felt bad watching him run the field endlessly making play after play after play. If they could make Jim Barry clone for the TAFT defense they would unstoppable!
Aappo Saloranta was HUNGRY for TDs
Aappo Saloranta only caught 4 passes, but scored 2 touchdowns! That is a 50% scoring rate, feed this man! Saloranta is example of quality over quantity. He was not targeted very much as Shortell made sure to spread the love, but when the ball came his way he made plays! His first touchdown started the string of Shortell’s passing scores. Saloranta took a quiet hiatus until the 4th quarter where he finalized the passing touchdowns frenzy by going over an undersized TAFT defender for a redzone score.
Runner works hard to make his impact
Roman Runner was sentenced to babysitting duty in this game. Early on his duty was to guard the American receiver from TAFT. Once the Trojans realized that TAFT was purposely throwing away from Runner he was moved to safety. And that’s where he finally got to make his impact on the game as he usually does. In the 3rd quarter Runner could not be avoided as intercepted a Johnson pass intended for Tywrone Still.
Tywrone Still – 5 rec, 62 yds
Joel Sisler – 10 rec, 70 yds, 1 td
Ilkka Koiranen – 8 tkls, 1 pbu
Tuomas Mankki – 6 rec, 100 yds, 1 td
Joni-Petteri Malka – 48 yard field goal