Friday’s rematch between the Senajoki Crocodiles and the Tampere Saints was nothing similar to the 62-0 blowout game from Week 1. Early in the game the Saints looked to have a good chance to stay competitive. But then the game continued, and the Crocodiles imposed their will on the Saints who had no answers for a high powered offense. There were plenty of positives for both teams to take from the game, despite the lopsided result.
Welcome to Finland Avery Neloms
The new Saints qb had an unfortunate introduction to the Maple League by losing a fumble on the team’s first offensive possession. But it didn’t take long for him to make his best asset known as he used sprinter speed to score a 78 yard touchdown late in the first quarter. Neloms showed that he is bringing speed that no one else in the Maple League can match. I would love to see him and Jaycen Taylor race in the 40 yd dash. Neloms was a little rusty in the passing game early on, which could be attributed to jet lag(he arrived in Finland on Tuesday, played in the game on Friday). Nevertheless, he developed some chemistry with Henri Laine and late in the game hooked up with Tommy Pinta for a nice td score. It will be interesting to see how the Saints finish this season behind Avery Neloms
The Ultimate Playmaker – Niko Lester
Cornerback, Running back, Receiver, Returner?!? It doesn’t matter where you put this guy he makes plays. This week the Crocodiles lined Niko out wide at receiver and he did what you expected him to do. . . BALLED OUT. Lester’s 11 catches for 158 yards led all receivers and was more than the Saints total receiving yards. Lester also had an impressive 48 yard touchdown catch. The celebration was also pretty cool.
Dejon Newell doesn’t need stats
His stat line isn’t the best looking, but I watched the game and know a good player when I see one. Newell played safety all game, which is basically nonexistent against the Crocodiles offfense, but when Seinajoki got in the redzone Newell stepped up every time. The reason Kevin Marshall scored 3 rushing touchdowns was because the crocodiles could not complete one on one passes against Newell. I know he is more of a value at safety for the saints, but he is a pretty effective in man to man coverage. Newell also did a great job as a returner and even had one long return that put the Saints in great field position in the 2nd quarter.
Justin Solitare being Justin
21-34, 290 yds, 3 tds – Reads like a typical Solitare stat line that I’m accustomed to seeing. He played great, as usual. The guy even included punting duties this game, the first one going for 61 yards and flipping the field.
IF IT AINT BROKE, DONT FIX IT
I’m going to take this moment to let my fandom out a little bit. The Crocodiles decided to put their qb under center multiple times throughout this game. Why? I have no clue but I know they had their reasons. Justin Solitarre looked good under center and his mobility definitley made the playaction passes work well. Under center the Crocodiles were good, but who wants to see GOOD? Especially when a team has a guy like Solitare who can whip that thing out faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. I just want the pure shotgun quick game and big play offense that makes watching the game so fun.
Timmy Thomas – 4 rec, 58 yds, 1 td
Kevin Marshall – 12 att, 68 yds, 3 tds
Matthieu Fayard – 8.5 tkls, 0.5 tfl
Veikko Lehtonen – 6 att, 87 yds
Tommi Pinta – 6 rec, 53 yds, 1 td
Henri Laine – 5 rec, 48 yds
Damien Rosette – 5.5 tkls
Johan Grahn – 5.5 tkls