Thursday August 20th kicks off week four in Finland’s Maple League as the Porvoon Butchers will host the Helsinki Wolverines. This is the penultimate game for both teams. The Butchers are motivated to get their first win of the season in front of their home fans, while the Wolverines are playing for a chance to make the playoffs.
The Wolverines suffered an embarrassing loss last week in Kuopio. Their offense scored only six points and accounted for measly 107 total yards. Quarterback Chris Forcier struggled completing only 4 of 13 passes. Their offense was also shut down on the ground finishing the game with -17 rushing yards. A bright spot for the Wolverines was wide receiver Sebastian Sagne. Sagne had two catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Look for Sagne, Forcier, and the Wolverines offense to bounce back after this poor performance and put up a ton of points Thursday night against a struggling Butchers defense.
Defensively the Wolverines had a long day giving up 7 passing touchdowns and 508 total yards on the way to a 70 points allowed. Defensive back Arrtu Ketonen led the Wolverines with 7 total tackles. Helsinki’s defense needs to be able to slow down the Butchers athletic quarterback Jabari Harris in order to win Thursday night. Ketonen the current league leader in interceptions had some thoughts on Thursdays matchup:
“We have to move from the last couple games, refocus and start playing like I know we can. I have full in the team. Anything is possible as long as we start playing on our level”
The Butchers are going into week four of the Maple League with their fate already decided. They will not be one of the four teams in this year’s playoffs. Offensively the Butchers quarterback Jabari Harris showed off his athleticism throughout the game evading defenders, running through contact, and picking up 127 yards on the ground. Harris was able to get his shifty receiver Mikko Seppanen involved often. Seppanen finished the game with 80 yards and a touchdown receiving. Harris and the Butchers are you looking to show what they can do with two games remaining.
“They had a bad game last week and we did also. I think they will be motivated to prove that it was just a bad game and they will play hard. We are playing at home with nothing to lose. You can expect us to be fired up and give it all we got.”
Porvoon’s pass defense has to step up and play better against a stacked Wolverines receiving core. Last week they were burned by the Roosters receiving core who were able to break tackles and sustain blocks downfield. In order for the Butchers to win they will need their defensive backs to meet the challenge. Linebacker Timmi Nuikka will be looking to repeat his performance from last week as he led the team with 7 tackles last week.
Thursday night football is back in Porvoo. The Wolverines need this game to stay in the playoff hunt. While the Butchers would love to get their first win of the short season in front of their hometown fans. Look for this to a close game with a lot of emotion as there is still a lot to play for on both sides.
Watch the game live here. Helsinki Wolverines @ Porvoon Butchers, Aug. 20, 17:30 EEST (16:30 CET, 10:30 ET)
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Porvoon Butchers starters and roster
Helsinki Wolverines starters and roster