Team Finland demolishes Russia in IFAF 2019 U19 European Championship qualifier

It took the Finnish national Under19 squad no time at all to dispose of Team Russia in their IFAF 2019 U19 European Championship qualifying game in Vantaa, Finland as the Finns rolled to a 69-0 win.

Finland outgained the Russians 440 yards to 67 scoring 29 points in the first quarter alone.

The scoring for Finland came fast and furious in the first quarter. With Team Russia unable to advance beyond their own 30 yard line, it took the Finns all of three plays and 30 seconds to take a 13-0 lead. JereByman threw to Santtuo Vehkomaki  for a 30 yard touchdown and then scored himself with barely any time gone on the clock. A blocked punt and touchdown and an interception were the key factors. The onslaught continued with Russia committing costly errors and Finland capitalizing. By midway through the first quarter the score had ballooned to 29-0.

Shell-shocked Russian quarterback Matfei Gumeniuk finally got his team to shake off their travel and their jitters late in the quarter and marched Russia down to the Finnish two yard line before a penalty and then a fumble killed the drive.

The second quarter was slightly better for Team Russia than the first with the Russian defense making a goal line stand. But as soon as they got the ball back, a fumble on their own five yard line handed the ball to Finland. Jaakko Salminen barged in and the score was now 36-0. The teams traded turnovers and then Russia was able to mount another drive which this time finished with a decent punt. Finnish quarterback Samuli Toyry then led his team on a 10 play, 69 yard drive, tossing a touchdown pass to Kristian Ristila to boost the score to 42-0 at the  half.

With the clock running in the third quarter (mercy rule), Finland scored on the very first possession, as August Wahlstein found a seam and galloped 54 yards to up the score to 49-0. Another Russian drive ended at their own 27 yard line and the punt carried the ball a mere 11 yards. Tarmo Pitkänen scored on a 10 yard pass from Wahlstein to make the score 55-0.

It took Finland all of two plays early in the fourth to score again as first Wahlstein hit Vehkomaki for a 44 yard completion, and then Salminen ran the ball in from the seven and now the lead had increased to 62-0.

Finland added a last touchdown with no time on the clock as Ambro Urjansson threw a 31 yard scoring pass to Kaapo Perakumpu on the final play of the game.

Team Finland now moves on to the IFAF U19 European Championship in Bologna, Italy July 29 to August 4, 2019 and will join Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France and Norway.




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