Wasa Royals Host the Seinäjoki Crocodiles for Botnia Bowl 2017

Monday night will showcase a 30-year rivalry in Finland. The Wasa Royals (Vaasa) will host the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in the Botnia Bowl rivalry game. This rivalry began with the Vaasa Vikings and Seinäjoki Crocodiles before being renewed with the Wasa Royals team in 2016. Because of this, there is not much recent history on the rivalry, but there is definitely a rivalry to be had.



Photo Credit: Sami Ranta

Last year was the renewal of this rivalry between these two teams in the Maple League. The Wasa Royals were in their rookie season in the highest level in Finland. The Crocodiles were coming off a Maple Bowl appearance the year before. Both times in the regular season the Seinäjoki Crocodiles defeated the Wasa Royals. The first game was narrowly won by the Crocodiles 17-6. The second game involved more scoring and was played in Vaasa for the actual Botnia Bowl trophy. By a score of 32-24, the Crocodiles completed the season sweep against the Royals. The Wasa Royals shocked the Maple League by making the playoffs and had one last chance to see their rivals on the gridiron. In a defensive struggle, the Seinäjoki Crocodiles defeated the Wasa Royals in the Maple League playoffs to advance to the 2016 Maple Bowl.



Photo Credit: Samppa Toivonen

The 2017 Wasa Royals and Seinäjoki Crocodiles are very different teams than the two who played three times last season. The Seinäjoki Crocodiles do not have the Air Force 1 offense that was led by Justin Sottilare last year and are playing with a roster full of young and inexperienced players. Despite these shortcomings, the Crocodiles team has the potential to rise to the occasion for this game. The Wasa Royals have only gotten better since last season. Adding Justin Sottilare and Spencer Cutlan has made their offense the potent one in this matchup. Their defense still boasts 2016 MVP Chris Young and will be a problem for the Crocodiles offense all night long. But the Royals do show a weakness in their depth. Football is a tough game and things do happen; if the Royals have any type of injuries they could easily lose this matchup.

Botnia Bowl 2017 promises to be an exciting one as both teams have a lot to prove. The Royals are attempting to prove they can beat the Crocodiles and that they deserve to be a frontrunner for the Maple Bowl. The Crocodiles are attempting to prove that with a new look team they can still compete in the Maple League and are not to be taken lightly.



Whether you decide to watch the game live or see it on ruutu, you need to know which players to watch and their respective names. This game is highlighted with a lot of great players, but here are a few to definitely know whenever you’re watching.



Photo Credit Sami Ranta


#12 QB Justin Sottilare

22 of 36 passes completed – 307 yards, 2 touchdowns

#13 WR RJ Long

8 receptions – 121 yards

#8 WR Spencer Cutlan

4 receptions – 43 yards, 1 touchdown

#40 RB Tom Suoste

21 rushes – 76 yards, 1 touchdown

#34 RB Joakim Jakobsson

3 rushes – 7 yards, 4 receptions – 22 yards



#96 DL Lauri Hannula

1.5 tackles

#92 DL Rodon Zeqiri

6.5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup

#97 DL Martti Kaas

0.5 tackle

#47 LB Benjamin Snåfs

2 tackles

#4 LB Chris Young

12 tackles

#33 DB Stacey Thomas

4.5 tackles

#21 DB Rufail Khalifa

2 pass breakups



Photo Credit: FSC Media


#6 QB Brett Arrivey

11 of 23 passes completed – 67 yards

#23 RB Josh Clarke

5 rushes – 2 yards, 1 touchdown

#13 WR Anthony Brooks

3 receptions – 32 yards



#92 DL Hannu Saarimaa

5.5 tackles

#99 DL Filip Zacok

3 tackles, 1 sack

#15 LB Cory Magwood

7.5 tackles, 1 sack

#43 LB Juhani Koivumäki

4 tackles

#8 DB Dijon Washington

4 tackles

#26 DB Tuomas Leinonen

 2 tackles





These two teams are going in very opposite directions this season. This Crocodiles team is not polished enough to withstand four quarters of the Wasa Royals. If the Royals offense starts sluggish like it did last week, the Crocodiles have a chance to keep it interesting in the first half of this game. I believe that will not be the case, and the Wasa Royals will win this game decisively 37-0.


2 thoughts on “Wasa Royals Host the Seinäjoki Crocodiles for Botnia Bowl 2017

  • May 21, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Do you have anything on women’s football in Finland? I am starting a project on women playing in the U.S. and around the world, and am looking for as much information as I can find.



    • May 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      I dont specifically write about it, but if you go to sajl.fi they have more info on the womens league and teams. Finland’s womens national team is actually preparing for the world championship this year!


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