NEFL: Finland’s Helsinki Roosters edge Stockholm Mean Machines in a thriller

The Helsinki Roosters relied on home field advantage and and edge in special teams to beat the Stockholm Mean Machines 21-19  at Helsinki’s Velodrome in the first round of the Northern European Football League.

Helsinki receiver Adam Connette scored two touchdowns while quarterback Miro Kadmiry scored a third. Kim Saarijärvi kicked all three extra points which proved critical.

For the Mean Machines, receiver Alpha Jalloh had a monster  day hauling in 13 passes for 222 yards (of Stockholm’s 242 total) and two touchdowns while Denny John scored the third touchdown on a pass from quarterback Alex Thury who completed 17 of 29 passes.

Photo: R1ku Exposures

The Roosters opened the scoring on their first drive with Connette scoring, but Stockholm responded with Denny John capping the opening possession with a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

The Roosters picked off a pass from Thury, still in the first quarter and then capitalized with Kadmiry finding room and racing 35 yards to give Helsinki a 14-7 lead.

Neither team could find the end zone until late in the first half when Jalloh takes the ball in from the five yard line. The extra point attempt failed and Helsinki took a 14-13 lead into halftime.

Photo: R1ku Exposures

The third quarter saw both defenses stiffen and it wasn’t until early in the fourth that Helsinki would increase the lead with Adam Connette finding a hole and scampering in from 29 yards out. Saarijärvi kicked the crucial extra point and the Roosters took a 21-13 lead.

Again the Mean Machines answered, Jalloh getting into the end zone for the second time. The two point attempt failed though and Helsinki held a slim 21-19 lead.

Then, with 30 seconds left, the Mean Machines mounted one last drive, reaching the Roosters 49 yard line with 10 seconds left. However, a late penalty wiped out the time remaining time on the clock and the Roosters came away with the win.

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