Finland’s Maple League Playoff Preview: Porvoon Butchers

The 2017 Maple League Playoffs are finally here!! After 15 weeks, only the Helsinki RoostersWasa RoyalsHämeenlinna Huskies, and Porvoon Butchers have a chance to win the Vaahtera Malja!  It’s been a very interesting season, seeing all of the playoff teams look like the best team in the league at some point. But now as the first weekend of playoff games approaches, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the best four teams in Finland. Today we will be looking at the newest team in the Maple League, the Hämeenlinna Huskies.

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PORVOON BUTCHERS (6-6)

Photo Credit: Sami Ranta

OFFENSE

A balanced run attack, is that a thing? Well it is with the Porvoon Butchers. The first thing the Butchers want to do is run the ball behind the best offensive line in the Maple League. The second thing the Butchers want to do is keep teams from loaded the box, by utilizing their breakout receiver Daniel Luoma, and ol’ reliable Mikko Seppänen in the pass game. Most teams can’t stop the first thing, which makes it even harder to stop the second thing! This philosophy has served the Butchers well all season, and will continue to do so in the playoffs.

DEFENSE

PERFECT: The will hit you, and they will hit you hard. These are just facts when facing the Porvoon Butchers defense. One of the most consistent defenses in the Maple League, this defense plays fundamental football. They don’t do crazy blitzes & stunts to pressure offenses. They don’t use exotic coverages to confuse quarterbacks. The Butchers use sound fundamental football to force offenses to play perfect to beat them.  Executing against good defense is very difficult and why most are not successful against the Butchers.

Photo Credit: Marko Tuominiemi

KEY PLAYERS

The running game of the Butchers will rely heavily on the legs of Rickey Stevens, who is the leading rusher in the Maple League this season. Quarterback Danny Farley will look to make the difference on the offense in the playoffs. Farley really has one job: DON’T TURN THE BALL OVER! If Danny Farley does that, the Butchers should play great football and have a chance to win games.  Defensive end Ville Kurvinen is worth mentioning in the playoffs. Built like a linebacker, and athletic enough to play receiver, Kurvinen has been terrorizing quarterbacks all season. With his quickness, strength, and sure tackling, he will no doubt have to make big plays for the Butchers to win games. Of course, linebacker Troy Roach is also instrumental for the Butchers defense. His sideline to sideline speed will definitely be needed for the Butchers to stop these Maple League offenses.

Photo Credit: R1ku Exposures

X-FACTOR

The Porvoon Butchers need consistency. I know it doesn’t sound too X-factor like, but in reality, it is the hardest thing to do in this game. Someone always messes up, or makes a big play that is not consistent with their normal play. For the Butchers, they need this to NOT happen! The Butchers must keep the game in their controlled environment. They must run the ball well and pass when necessary, but not too much. They must play solid defense, buy not have anyone try to be a hero suddenly. It’s a tough task, but it is what the Butchers must do to win.

Photo credit: Sami Ranta

GAME INFORMATION

The Maple League Playoffs start Saturday, August 26, with the Hämeenlinna Huskies (3) versus the Wasa Royals (2) at Kaarlen Kenttä, Vaasa 15:30 UTC +3. Sunday, August 27, will be the Porvoon Butchers (4) versus the Helsinki Roosters (1) at Myyrmäen Jalkapallostadion, Vantaa 15:30 UTC+3. Both games will be televised on the Ruutu subscription service. Good luck to all the teams and players involved!

 

*For more articles by Perfect Pervis, visit his Blog

Perfect Pervis
Perfect Pervis is a football enthusiast from Texas City, Texas. Perfect currently resides in Finland, playing & coaching American Football and writing a blog about the football culture in Europe.
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