On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Turku Finland, the first game of the Vaahteraliiga was played! After all the preseason rankings and podcast predictions, it was finally time to put up or shut up! I’m having trouble writing this post because I’m too excited to type! But the excitement is warranted, as the first game of the season did not disappoint. The Helsinki Roosters beat the Turku Trojans soundly as expected by everyone not associated with the Trojans organization. The final score of 39-3 is fitting as it shows the difference between the best and the worst teams in the Maple League. The highlights help confirm the score and stats of the game.
SLATER IS THE MAN
Curtis Slater had his way with the Trojans piling up 113 yards on only 3 punt returns for a 37.7 yd average. He is well on his way to being the best return man in the Maple League. But that is not even the most interesing thing he did in this game. Slater was lined up at cornerback early in the game and tasked with covering Kyle Bowpitt the Australian import. Bowpitt had 2 catches for 14 yards in the game. . .
MIRO KADMIRY IN A GREAT SITUATION
Timmy Thomas and Bernard Luster are both top talents for the Roosters receiving corps. But Miro Kadmiry benefitted the most from those two being on the field at the same time. As the slot receiver in a read-option offense, Kadmiry grabbed 11 receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. Looks like the Roosters have THREE top talents at receiver?
WELCOME TO FINLAND JOSH QUEZADA
The Trojans have a workhorse! Despite the ugly score, Josh Quezada was one of the positives the Trojans could take from this game. Quezada is a violent runner who punishes defenders when they attempt to tackle him. The Roosters were lucky to have 3 or 4 people tackling him every play, but not everyone will have the Roosters defense. Keep on trucking Josh!
BIG PLAY BERNARD
The photo you see is a 45 yard snag by Bernard Luster that was just one of his big plays. He finished the game with 6 receptions for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. He should actually have had 3 touchdowns, but penalties are a part of the game. Moving Bernard from slot receiver to wide receiver has turned out to be a great decision. I would like to think that offensive coordinator Mikko Koikkalainen made that brilliant move.
VILLE-VALTTERI SUOJANEN GIVES TURKU HOPE
There wasn’t much to be proud of on the defensive side of the ball for the Trojanss, but Ville-Valtteri Suojanen was a symbol of hope for the future. Playing the safety position Suojanen did what he could to stop the onslaught by the Roosters including 2 pass breakups and 1 interception. Those 2 pass breakups actually forced the Roosters to settle for a field goal instead of being in position to score when things were looking hopeless for the Trojans. There is hope.
Brandon Connette – 26/40, 250 yds, 4 td, 1 int
Iilya Redin – 7.5 tkls, 1 tfl
Lauri Vaino – 4 tkls, 2.5 tfl, 1 sack, 1 ff
Akselin Olin – 1 tkl, 2 pbu
Viljo Lempinen – 1.5 tkls, 1 int
Ilkka Koiranen – 9.5 tkls
Fredric Casteels – 6 tkls, 1 tfl
Heikki Toivola – 3 tkls, 3 pbu
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