Finland: Kuopio Steelers trounce United Newland Crusaders to stay unbeaten

For the final game of the week in Finland’s Maple League, the undefeated Kuopio Steelers handed the winless United Newland Crusaders the biggest blowout loss of the season with an 82-12 victory. The wet grass on the field of Väinölänniemi affected the performances of both teams resulting in a far more lopsided score.

For the second time this season, Le’Anthony Reasnover won Most Valuable Player of the game with his performance for the game. He rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 41-yard touchdown pass. 

He was not the only effective one on the offensive side of the ball. Running back Tuukka Lehtonen also had a good game rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, in the passing game, Joey Bradley was solid completing 11 of 21 for 237 yards and three touchdowns. 

Kuopio Steelers QB Joey Bradley threw for 237 yards and 3 TDs Photo: Jari Turunen

The defense for the Steelers was just as strong as their offense throughout the game, especially against the run. The Crusaders finished with -58 rushing yards on the game forcing them to rely on their passing game, which was mostly ineffective. 

The Kuopio secondary also showed UNC quarterback Shay Netter no mercy forcing him to throw three interceptions, two of which were returned for pick sixes by Roni Laine and Iiro Pekkarinen. However, Netter was able to send his only touchdown pass to Cedric Johnson with six minutes to go in the first half.

Due to the Midsummer break in the Maple League, the sixth place Crusaders won’t play again until Thursday, June 30 in Helsinki against the Roosters with the hopes of getting their first win. The Steelers will take on the Wolverines on July 2 for the second time this season with a chance for a sweep.

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