RB Lamar Carswell paces Kuopio Steelers to another win, this time over Porvoon Butchers

The Kuopio Steelers continue to impress behind the amazing running of Lamar Carswell as they captured their second win of the season in Finland’s Maple League, pulling away from the Porvoon Butchers in the second half to beat them 48-21.

Carswell was a one-man wrecking crew rushing for 281 yards and four touchdowns, averaging a staggering 28.1 yards a carry! That was almost 100 yards more than the combined totals of all the other rushers in the game. He scored a 75 yard touchdown the first time he touched the ball in the game, and then also the next time he had the ball, on a 25 yard scoring run. He ripped off two 63 yard touchdown runs as well. And he did all of that in less than three quarters. He rested the last 16 minutes of the game.

Steelers quarterback Seth Peters tossed three touchdown passes completing 10 of 25 passes for 188 yards. Wide Receiver Josh Vandeweerd had five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown with Tino Ndongo catching one for 60 and a score with Ville Lindsten also scoring on a short pass.

Porvoon quarterback Jabari Harris did his best to keep his team in the game rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns and throwing for 152 yards and another one. Mikko Seppanen hauled in six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown while Juuso Alikoski caught three for 38. Yusufa Lehtinen had 15 carries for 51 yards as well.

The Butchers offense stalled on its own 40 yard line on the opening drive, but Seppanen’s punt pinned Kuopio on their own 25 yard line. That’s when the Lamar Carswell show took off.

Porvoon Butchers QB Jabari Harris avoiding a tackle Photo: FSC Media

He cut up inside left tackle and raced untouched all the way to the end zone giving the Steelers a 7-0 lead.

The next Porvoon drive resulted in a punt again. This time, Peters waited until the sixth play of a drive that started on his own 40, before handing the ball to Carswell. Twenty five yards later he was in the end zone.

Harris finally got the Butchers offense moving, throwing passes, mainly to Seppanen including a 30 yarder, and to Okke Kuipers, before carrying it in himself from the 22 for a touchdown, narrowing the lead to 13-7 going into the second quarter.

An errant Harris pass was picked off two possessions later  deep in Steelers territory. Peters drove Kuopio to the 37 in six plays and then handed off to Carswell for the third time during the drive. He turned it into a 63 yard touchdown giving the Steelers a 20-7 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

This time, Harris and the Butchers offense answered immediately, marching down to the Kuopio 35 yard line. Harris connected with Seppanen who took it into the end zone, closing the gap to 20-14 at the end of the half.

The Steelers pretty much put the game away in the first two minutes of the third quarter.

Steelers defense swarming Porvoon RB Yusufa Lehtinen Photo: FSC Media

On the very first play from scrimmage, Carswell literally exploded off tackle, dipped outside and then raced for a 63 yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 27-14.

A total of 11 seconds had ticked off the clock.

With Porvoon unable to move the ball, Peters and the Steelers offense took over at the 10 minute mark. This time it was Ndongo’s turn. He simply out ran his defender and Peters hit him perfectly in stride and he took it 60 yards to boost the lead again, this time to 34-14.

Two Steelers possessions. Two plays. Twenty seconds. Two touchdowns.

Tough to rebound from that.

Again, Harris proved how valuable he is, putting together a six play, 70 yard drive, finishing it by carrying the ball in from the two and narrowing the lead to 34-21 with plenty of time on the clock in the third quarter.

Peters responded though, starting from his own 40, mixing up his plays and guiding the Steelers to the Butchers 31, without Carswell escaping for a touchdown. Instead he hit Vandeweerd who made no mistake moving the lead up to 40-21.

The Kuopio defense then rose up, smothering the Butchers on the next possession and then blocking a punt, recovering it on the Porvoon 16 yard line as the third period ended.

With Carswell now resting on the bench, the Steelers offense stalled on Porvoon’s nine yard line, failing on a fourth down. It didn’t help the Butchers. Harris was picked off five plays later at his own 46 and Kuopio took over. With Isaak Marshall in at running back in place of Carswell, the Steelers moved down to the seven yard line. Peters found Lindsten for the final touchdown of the game making it a 48-21 Steelers lead.

Porvoon did manage to reach the Steelers 29 yard line but the drive fizzled out with two minutes left and Kuopio simply ate up the remaining time.

With the win, the Steelers move out to 2-0 and take over first place, ahead of the Wasa Royals with a better points differential. Porvoon drops to 0-2 and in last place.

The Butchers will now visit the Helsinki Roosters on August 13 while Kuopio will host the Helsinki Wolverines on August 15.

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.