The 9-1 Helsinki Roosters, Europe #14, head to Vaasa, Finland to take on the 3-7 Wasa Royals as Finland’s Maple League heads into the final two games of the season.
In the first meeting between the two teams back in early June. Helsinki came away with a 28-7 win.
The Royals have sputtered through the 10 games of the 12 games season and are coming off of a 63-54 loss to the Seinäjoki Crocodiles. Wasa had beaten the Kuopio Steelers 52-41 after two straight losses, losing 34-27 to the Crocodiles, and 6-0 to the Tampere Saints, a team they had beaten 47-32 only three weeks before. They had opened the season with promise with a solid 33-12 win over the Porvoo Butchers. Before dropping the game to the Wolverines, they lost to the Helsinki Roosters 28-7 and then were soundly defeated 35-9 by the Steelers.
Royals quarterback Diondre Borel has thrown for 1,767 yards and 21 touchdowns in the 10 games, and has rushed for 485 and four more touchdowns. French receiver Aymeric Nicault has been his favorite target by far hauling in 37 passes for 590 yards and five touchdowns, but in the last four games, newly signed WR Alpha Jalloh who starred for new Swedish champions the Stockholm Mean Machines in their championship run, has caught 16 passes for 509 yards and six touchdowns. In his last three games he has averaged 149 yards a game. The Roosters will need to keep him under control. Running back Tom Suosto has been carrying the load and has rushed for 796 yards. However, Borel has been using his legs more and in the last game against the Crocodiles he had 183 yards rushing.
The Roosters have not lost a game since opening day when they lost 57-41 to the Kuopio Steelers, they have reeled off nine in a row downing the Wasa Royals 28-7, Seinäjoki Crocodiles 29-21, the Porvoo Butchers twice, 53-20 and 66-34, the Tampere Saints also twice, 58-14 and 50-33 and the Crocodiles again, 61-36. They beat the Helsinki Wolverines soundly twice, 42-13 and last week, 42-14.
Roosters running back Karri Pajarinen returned to action last week after missing the last two games. He only rushed for 18 yards and one touchdown but he can break a game wide open. Pajarinen is third in the league in rushing averaging 105.8 yards a game in the eight games he has played and has a total of 846 yards and eight touchdowns. Adam Connette has been huge on offense for the Roosters when called upon and in the last three games has rushed for 214 yards and five touchdowns while catching 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown. Nnamdi Agude has also put up great numbers and has caught 52 passes for 930 yards and 20 TDs.
Quarterback Miro Kadmiry is the second leading passer in the Maple League having thrown for 2,942 yards and a league-best 47 touchdowns in the 10 games.