Finally, a close game in the Maple League! The Seinäjoki Crocodiles beat the Tampere Saints 29-14 in a game they controlled from the very first play of scrimmage thanks to a 56 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Arrivey to receiver DJ Washington. Both teams had a lot to prove in this game, and they did not disappoint. You can watch the game highlights at Ruutu.fi. *Feature Image Photo Credit: Harri Koivunen
I know nobody ever looks at the stat sheet, but I enjoy comparing numbers after seeing a good football game. After all, the saying goes that Numbers Never Lie. Statistically, these two teams looked almost identical. First downs, total yards, pass completions, offensive plays, and even their punt yards average were comparable. But the Crocs led this game 22-0 heading int the 4th quarter. This was because of one stat that differed greatly between the two teams, turnovers. The Crocodiles threw 2 interceptions in comparison to the Saints throwing 3 interceptions and losing 2 fumbles. For you mathletes out there, that’s 2 turnovers compared to 5 for a difference of 3 (5 – 3 = 2). That was the difference in this game.
BIG PLAY ANTHONY BROOKS
If you listen to my AFF Podcast, like Crocodiles player Anthony Brooks does, you would know that I stated he was an average receiver, not a big playmaker. Well I’ll be the first to eat my words, because Brooks balled out against the Saints on Thursday night. Not only did he have 8 receptions for 71 yards, but he also had 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble on defense. Again, mathletes that’s 3 turnovers created by one player. What was the difference in this game? BIG PLAY ANTHONY BROOKS!
DJ WASHINGTON IS EXPLOSIVE
The Crocs have lacked explosive plays all year, but refused to let that happen again. The first play from scrimmage was an explosive bomb to DJ Washington! Fresh off an injury, Washington proved that he can be the spark the Crocodiles offense needs from time to time. Washington also contributed to the theme of the game, adding an interception to his defensive stats.
BRETT ARRIVEY RESPONDS WITH LEADERSHIP
Wednesday, my AFF Podcast co-host Jabari Harris called out the quarterback Brett Arrivey straight up. He told Arrivey to show him something, will his team to victory. Arrivey didn’t get on social media and “clap back” as most millennials would have. No, he went to work and led his team to it’s first victory. His stats were not gaudy at all, but that’s not what is needed from him for this team to win. Arrivey coached up the young Crocodiles roster and gave them the confidence they needed to perform well this game. I could go on about the qb’s role on the team, but better yet tune in to his interview on AFF this upcoming Tuesday.
WELCOME BACK HENRI LAINE
Fresh off a Spanish League title game, Henri Laine comes home and gives the Saints a receiving option. Better late than never I guess. His 61 yard touchdown was just a sample of great things to come from this guy, good to have you back Henri!
JUZZ TINY IS PLAYING BIG
I’m gonna say it, Juzz Tiny is the best player on the Saints offense. And no, he is not a receiver, he is a hell of a running back though. I’m glad the Saints finally saw that and put pride aside and let the young man play his game. The majority of his 133 yards came on a 81 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. But that doesn’t diminish what he brings to the Saints offense, BIG PLAY ABILITY! So far he is the only player with that ability for the Tampere Saints.
RALEIGH YELDELL IS A RUNNER, NOT A QB
I’m a patient man, so I’m never quick to judge. I saw great playmaking potential from Raleigh Yeldell since week one and constantly claimed he had no support on that offense. Scroll up, I just named two guys in Juzz Tiny and Henri Laine who are more than enough support. So it’s with a heavy heart that I have to jump off the Yeldell bandwagon. After watching him consistently overthrow receivers, and throw into double and triple coverage in the 5th game of the season, I am sold that Yeldell is a pure runner and will not be able to lead the Saints offense out of obscurity and into Maple League relevance.
KEY PLAYER STATS
QB Raleigh Yeldell – 13/35, 198 yds, 1 td, 3 int
RB Juzz Tiny – 14 att, 133 yds, 1 td
WR Henri Laine – 5 rec, 103 yds, 1 td
WR Ilari Laine – 4 rec, 82 yds
LB Tony Ballon – 7 tkls
DB Ronny Lehmussaari – 5.5 tkls, 1 int
DB Benjamin Ylipää – 5 tkls, 1 pbu, 1 int
QB Brett Arrivey – 13/29, 164 yds, 2 td, 2 int
RB Jaska Varinen – 20 att, 130 yds, 1 td
WR/DB Anthony Brooks – 8 rec, 71 yds/1.5 tkls, 1 ff, 2 int
DB/WR DJ Washington – 2.5 tkls, 1 int/1 rec 56 yds, td
LB J-P Koivumäki – 7 tkls
LB Juhani Koivumäki – 3.5 tkls, 1 pbu
LB Cory Magwood – 6 tkls, 2 pbu