PREVIEW: Finland’s Maple League in Final Weekend of Play; Trojans and Butchers in Key Battle

With two games left to play in Finland’s Maple League, there is still a great deal at stake for three of the four teams.

Turku Trojans (6-3) – Porvoon Butchers (4-5)
Saturday, August 29th, 3:00pm (CET)

Finland - Trojans v Butchers

With the Seinäjoki Crocodiles 28-26 come from behind victory over the Helsinki 69ers, suddenly the Turku Trojans- Porvoo Butchers matchup becomes of prime importance to Porvoon. In fact, it is simple. If the Butchers beat the Trojans they qualify for the semifinals. If they lose they are out.

For Turku, the game will determine whether they will have home advantage in the playoffs against the Helsinki Roosters so it is important.

Finland - Trojans - Shelton3The Butchers won the last meeting between these two teams at Porvoo 31-30 on a last second touchdown. Watch the game highlights here.  However, since that contest, Turku has added quarterback Sean Shelton to the roster who in his four games has thrown for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns.

This one will be tough to predict although Shelton will make a difference. Butcher’s quarterback Miro Mikael Kadmiry has started all nine games and has thrown for 1,651 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The key could very well be be the ground game though as Trojans running back Rickey Stevens has rushed for 974 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, second in the league. However, Porvoon has added RJ Jackson to the roster since the last time these two teams played and in his two games he has rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns.

Follow the live statistics here.

Vantaa TAFT (0-9) – Helsinki Roosters (6-3)
Monday, August 31st, 5:30pm (CET)

Finland - Roosters v TAFT2

This game may not have any meaning at all to the Roosters after Saturday night as a Trojans victory against the Butchers would assure them of second spot and home field advantage in the semifinals. A Trojans loss would mean the Roosters would have to win the game to play their semifinal game at home.

In the previous meeting between these two teams, the Roosters prevailed 41-10 in Mic Brown’s debut as the starting quarterback, a week after winning the Polish championship with the Gdynia Seahawks. Brown has made an impact on the team since taking over five games ago. He has thrown for 1,099 yards and nine touchdowns but also run for 119 yards and two touchdowns. In the backfield, running back Jaycen Taylor Spears has sparkled gaining 1,277 yards on the ground while scoring 16 touchdowns.

finland - Roosters - SpearsHowever, the Roosters will be facing an opponent that has struggled through a dismal season. The only bright spot has been the play of running back Ian Sadon who has rushed for 779 yards and five touchdowns all on his own. Quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson has suffered through a tough season including injuries.

The only incentive for TAFT is to find a way to finish the season with a win and avoid an 0-10 season.

Whatever the outcome, the Roosters and Trojans will face each other on Sunday September 6. The question is where?

Follow the live stats here.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.