The Wasa Royals defeated the Hämeenlinna Huskies 27-24 in a hard-fought Maple League game Saturday afternoon. All 48 minutes were needed to decide this game that was close the entire game. Ultimately, the Royals came away with the win, and there were plenty of great moments to support their victory.
GREAT MAPLE LEAGUE GAME
This was a great game to watch! Royals led with a field goal, then the Huskies went ahead, and this back and forward continued throughout the game. Both teams scored 2 point safeties at some point in the game. The Huskies were successful on two of their three 2 point attempts. Roman Runner scored on a long 84-yard catch and run. RJ Long recorded two separate 48-yard touchdown catches. Justin Sottilare threw for 375 yards, 3 touchdowns, and returned to his old ways with 2 interceptions to keep things interesting. Nicholas Peterson joined the Royals as a receiver, defensive back, and return specialist like he had never left. This game was exciting from beginning to end, and the score reflects the game played between two good teams.
RJ LONG NEEDS A NICKNAME
Optimus Prime? Maple League Moss? MR LONG? I’m still working on these, but I’ll take suggestions as well. Rj Long is too good of a player to be referred to a normal name. In this highly contested game against two of the best defensive backs in the Maple League, Long tallied 7 catches for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns! And the icing on the cake is his personality and celebrations that accompany his big plays. Rj Long made this game an entertaining event, while dominating on the field at the same time, pure awesomeness!
ROMAN RUNNER FOR MVP
Runner stands alone in this debate; he is the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (for the Hämeenlinna Huskies). Runner’s stats were ungodly, 5 receptions, 164 yards, 2 touchdowns, 28 yards per kickoff return, AND an interception (guarding RJ Long)! Runner didn’t just put up stats, he looked good doing it! His 84-yard touchdown catch was the first highlight of the game and set the tone for everything else in the game. Runner also had the catch, tip, bobble, catch that should be submitted to ESPN Sportcenter Top 10. Not only did he make spectacular catches, when his defensive back skills were need to slow down Rj Long (slow not stop), he makes a DIVING interception catch! MOST VALUABLE PLAYER!!
HUSKIES DIDN’T FINISH DRIVES
The Huskies punted 5 times and were 1 of 3 on fourth downs. Most those 4th down tries were in the Royals territory and possibly within field goal range. Added with 3rd down tries the Huskies were 4 for 14 when in situations to extend their drives. That 29% conversion rate hurt them in this close game. Previously they have been getting by with such low conversion rates, but the Royals made them pay this week.
KEY PLAYER STATS
QB Justin Sottilare – 19/32, 375 yds, 3 td, 2 int
RB Tom Suoste – 9 att, 34 yds
WR RJ Long – 7 rec, 210 yds, 2 td
WR Spencer Cutlan – 5 rec, 91 yds, 1 td
LB Stacey Thomas – 4 tkls, 2 tfl
LB Chris Young – 5.5 tkls, 1.5 tfl
DB Nicholas Peterson – 4 tkls, 1.5 tfl
DL Efe Evwaraye – 3 tkls
DB Rufail Khalifa – 2 tkls, 1 pbu
QB Stan Bedwell – 18/35, 212 yds, 2 tds
RB Arkadi Meerschout – 11 att, 34 yds, 1 td
WR Roman Runner – 5 rec, 164 yds, 2 td
DB Niko Lester – 4 tkls, 1 pbu
LB David Izinyon – 5.5 tkls, 0.5 tfl
DB Mikko Isokaanta – 2 tkls, 1 pbu, 1 int