Finland: Unbeaten Kuopio Steelers’ look to capture 3rd straight Maple League title

The Kuopio Steelers will be looking to continue their dominance in the Finnish Maple League this weekend as they take on the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in Maple Bowl XLIII.

This will be their fifth consecutive appearance in the title game and if they win, it will be their third straight Maple Bowl victory. In last week’s semifinal, Kuopio downed the Helsinki Roosters 28-0.

It is safe to say a big reason for their huge success over this past season has been because of their high-powered offense.

With an average of 46 points a game and outscoring their opponents 552 to 146, the Steelers easily have the best offense in the league. The next closest team to them in scoring is the Helsinki Wolverines with a total of 413 points (34.4 points per game).

Kuopio QB Joey Bradley finding running room Photo: Jari Turunen

Oddly enough, Kuopio does not have the best passing offense in the league, although there is a good reason why. However, when they do throw the ball, they are the most consistent in the league.

Steelers’ starting quarterback Joey Bradley has the league’s highest completion percentage at 61.3% and has also thrown for 2,052 yards and 25 touchdowns, good for third overall in the nine team league.

The real key to their offense is star running back Le’Anthony Reasnover. With a whopping 7.5 yards per carry, Reasnover is responsible for 186 of Kuopio’s offensive points scored. Reasnover is also responsible for 1,763 yards of the Steelers’ total 2,633 rushing yards.

While having the most effective offense in the league can help lead you to the championship game, having the best defense in the league can help you win it.

Steelers defense swarming Kotka Eagles ball carrier Photo: Jari Turunen

Statistically, the Steelers are the biggest pain for opposing offenses. Not only has Kuopio given up the lowest number of points (146) and fewest yards (1,862 yds), but they have also made the most plays and also lead the league in sacks with 38 and have forced the most turnovers, 22.

It is safe to say that head coach Pekka Utrainian has created nothing but a winning culture in Kuopio.

The last time the Steelers and Crocodiles faced off, Kuopio came out on top, 27-8.

Noah Costantino is a student and football player at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. Fueled by his love for the game he looks to continue his knowledge of football at an international level. He is majoring in Communications with a