Finland: Kuopio Steelers edge Helsinki Wolverines to remain undefeated

In what could end up being a preview of this year’s Finnish Maple League championship game, the Kuopio Steelers edged the Helsinki Wolverines 13-12 to remain undefeated at the midway point of the regular season in Finland.

Offensively, it was not a normal week for the Steelers as they have become accustomed to blowing out their opponents this season. However, even when facing a tough Helinski defense, Le’Anthony Reasnover was still able to come through for the team, rushing for 98 yards and his league leading 15th touchdown on the season. 

For the Wolverines, it was the play of dual-threat quarterback Jabari Harris that always kept them alive on offense. On his feet, he amassed 98 rushing yards and a touchdown, while in the air, Harris completed 10 of 17 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Despite the best work on the offenses, the stars of the game were from the defensive side of the ball. Even though they ended up losing, the Wolverines’ defense limited Reasnover to a sub 100-yard game for the first time in his MVP caliber season and managed to shut down the Steelers’ usual high-powered offense for much of the game. Strong safety Curtis Slater was the biggest contributor with eight tackles and a forced fumble on the day.

Wolverines WR Sebastian Sagne #0 Photo: Jari Turunen

Unfortunately for Helinski, the Steelers defense was the one that was able to pull away and take advantage when the game depended on it. The Wolverines’ offensive line gave up four sacks, 2.5 from Steelers’ French defensive end, Ander Roulette

However, it was the work of strong safety Tino Ndongo that ultimately gave the Steelers the victory. In the final drive for the Wolverines after Kuopio took the lead, Ndongo picked off Jabari Harris with 55 seconds to go and with the win, the Steelers’ defensive back earned Most Valuable Player of the Game honors.

In other Maple League action, the Helsinki Roosters defeated the United Newland Crusaders 42-28 while the Porvoon Butchers beat the Kotka Eagles 26-10.

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