Finland: Porvoon Butchers stage incredible 4th quarter comeback to beat Helsinki Roosters

It was a fourth quarter for the ages.

Trailing 31-13 with seven and a half minutes left in the game, the Porvoon Butchers pulled off the comeback of the season scoring 19 unanswered points in front of their home crowd and getting by the shell-shocked Helsinki Roosters 32-31.

The game opened far differently though as Helsinki marched out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter on touchdowns by running back Ville Hämäläinen on an eight yard run and wide receiver Danny Vittner on a 35 yard pass reception from quarterback Dimitrious Sinodinos.

The Butchers managed to narrow the lead to 14-7 when quarterback Brandon Gwinner hit wide receiver Micky Kyei in the end zone from 17 yards out with 36 seconds left in the first quarter. Then the Porvoon defense made a statement as defensive back Zach Wright picked off an errant Sinodinos pass at the Roosters 45 yard line and returned it all the way for a touchdown to make it 14-13. The extra point attempt failed though and Helsinki’s offense went back to work with eight minutes left in the first half.

Sinodinos orchestrated a 12 play, 67 yard drive which he capped with a six yard touchdown pass to Johannes Jauhiainen to extend the lead to 20-13. The PAT was good and Helsinki led 21-13 with three minutes remaining in the half. The Roosters defense rose to the occasion halting Porvoon on the next possession and then Sinodinos struck again, connecting with Santtu Vehkomäki for a 57 yard score to extend the lead to 28-13 with 44 seconds left in the half. The Butchers offense could not move the ball again and the Roosters went into the break holding a comfortable lead.

At this point, after only two quarters of play, Helsinki had racked up 343 yards of offense and four touchdowns while the Butchers had mustered only 80 and one score.

The third quarter followed the same pattern for the Porvoon offense and they could not get out of their own half of the field. This time though the defense held, preventing the Roosters from finding the end zone, forcing them to settle for a 32 yard field goal from the toe of Akseli Olin.

That was all the scoring entering the fourth quarter. But at the 10 minutes mark of the final period, the Butchers offense came alive as Gwinner marched his team from his own 45 yard line down to the Helsinki five and then found Mikko Seppänen to narrow the lead to 31-19 at the 7:15 mark.

Then, three players later, Wright pulled off his second pick six of the game, intercepting Sinodinos at the Roosters 45 yard line and taking it all the way, closing the gap to 31-26 with over six minutes left.

Suddenly the entire momentum of the game had switched.

Now it was the Roosters offense that was paralyzed and then a disastrous decision to gamble on fourth and one at their own 29 yard line backfired giving Porvoon the ball deep in Roosters territory. Gwinner took them down to the four yard line and then threw a scoring pass to Kristian Natunen. Suddenly, with three minutes left, the Butchers had a 32-31 lead.

The explosive Roosters offense was now stymied and could not move the ball and when Porvoon took over they were able to run the clock out thus handing Helsinki a costly loss.

While the Roosters (4-5) playoff berth is likely not in jeopardy, their bid climb into third or even second has been seriously damaged. For Porvoon (7-3), the victory solidified their hold on second with a pair of games to go.

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