Finland: Kuopio Steelers double up on Seinäjoki Crocodiles for 3rd straight win

It was a hard-fought Maple League matchup in Kuopio, when the Seinäjoki Crocodiles challenged the defending back-to-back champions, the Kuopio Steelers.

Unfortunately for the Crocodiles, the team failed to stop Kuopio running back Le’Anthony Reasnover, who completely took over the game and had a season-best performance, with a monstrous five-touchdown and 270-yard night leading the unbeaten Steelers to a 42-21 victory, their third consecutive in 2022.

With Reasnover and the Kuopio ground game taking control and accounting for most of the 353 yards of offense, quarterback Joey Bradley had a mediocre day completing just six of 17 passes for 66 yards. Touchdown number six came from Tino Ndongo.

Crocodiles quarterback Zachary Whitehead was an efficient 14 of 22 for 182 yards and a touchdown with his favorite targets being receivers Anttoni Lampivuo (68 yds) and Joel Särkelä (39 yds) with four catches each, while Janne Särkelä scored the only receiving touchdown for either team. Veteran running back Christian Powell had 20 carries for 70 yards and the other two Seinäjoki touchdowns.

The Steelers‘ offensive line managed to keep Crocodiles’ stout defensive front three of Filip Zacok, Seth Zins, Emmit Gooden in check, and their quarterback Bradley was never sacked in the game and had a lot of room to move around in the pocket. 

Kuopio broke a 7-7 first quarter tie scoring two second period touchdowns, both by Reasnover, to take a 21-7 lead into the break. The Crocodiles narrowed the lead to 21-14 on the first drive of the second half with Powell pounding the ball in from the two.

That’s when Reasnover totally took the game over carrying the ball 12 times over the next three Kuopio possessions for 110 yards and three touchdowns extending the lead to 42-14 with five minutes left in the game.

Powell added a late score for Seinäjoki.

With the win, Kuopio remains alone in first place in the Maple League standings with a 3-0 record. The Crocodiles slip to 1-1 and fifth in the seven-team league.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster