LIVESTREAM: Finland – Helsinki Wolverines @Wasa Royals, Thurs. July 25, 6:30p (5:30p CEDT, 11:30a EDT)

The 2-5 Wasa Royals will play host to the slumping 4-3 Helsinki Wolverines Thursday, July 25 as Finland’s Maple League reaches the midpoint of the 2019 season.

These two teams faced each other six weeks ago with Helsinki coming out on top, 27-13.

The Royals have sputtered through the opening seven games of the season and are coming off of two straight losses, losing 34-27 to the Seinäjoki 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 Kuopio Steelers.

Royals quarterback Diondre Borel has only thrown for 934 yards and nine touchdowns in the seven games, and has rushed for 212 two more touchdowns. French receiver Aymeric Nicault has been his favorite target by far hauling in 29 passes for 487 yards and five touchdowns. The team just signed WR Alpha Jalloh who starred for new Swedish champions the Stockholm Mean Machines in their championship run. In his first game, he caught four passes for 62 yards. Look for him to starting finding his way around opposition secondaries soon. Running back Tom Suosto suffered an injury in the last game and was replaced by Nico Barrow who had 18 carries for 74 yards. Barrow will start today against the Wolverines.

Linebacker Marc Millan is having an impact and has 41 tackles in six games.

In the first game against Helsinki, Borel and the Royals had a total of 70 yards passing while the Royals gave up 301. An improvement by the Royals tonight could spell the difference in the game.

After opening the season with four convincing wins, the Wolverines have hit a skid losing their last three. Last week they were defeated 34-31 by the Porvoo Butchers after losing 40-21 to the Kuopio Steelers. They had been brought down to earth with a thud against the Roosters getting beaten 42-13.  The loss was a shock to most in the way it happened. The Roosters exploded for all 42 points in the first half. Previous to that game, Helsinki had beaten the Steelers 54-21 the week before and handed the Wasa Royals a 27-13 defeat the week before that. They had started the year downing the Seinäjoki Crocodiles 47-29 and then rolling over the Tampere Saints 66-27.

For the Wolverines, head coach, offensive coordinator and starting quarterback Robert Johnson (Texas Tech) is the key to the offense and has thrown for 2,038 yards and 22 TDs and, along with running back William Young, who is averaging 95.3 yards a game, still presents opposing defenses with problems. RJ Long is Johnson’s favorite receiver with 619 yards receiving on 41 receptions. Quentin Coulpin leads the team in tackles with 34

Watch the game live here. Helsinki Wolverines @Wasa Royals, Thurs. July 25, 6:30p (5:30p CEDT, 11:30a EDT)

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