Team Finland overwhelms Sweden to extend lead in annual grudge match

Team Finland wasted no time Saturday scoring on their very first play from scrimmage and then rolling to a 37-0 rout of Sweden at Grimsta IP outside of Stockholm in the Viking Line Bowl. With the win in the annual grudge match played between these two countries regularly since 1992, Finland took a 12-10 lead in victories.

Quarterback  Janne Lehtinen threw four touchdown passes with wide receiver Sebastien Sagne  catching three of them. Sagne, who had over 1,000 yards receiving with the Dresden Monarchs in the German Football League this season, was impossible for Sweden’s defensive backs to cover at times. Teammate Tino Ndongo caught the fourth touchdown pass while running back Veikka Lehtonen scored on a four yard run in the fourth quarter. Joni-Petteri Malka kicked a 25 yard field goal and four extra points.

Photo: Salla Lahti

This was the largest margin of victory in the 25 year history of this game.

Finland raced out to a 31-0 halftime lead behind Sagne’s three touchdowns. He scored the first time he touched the ball on a 75 yard touchdown on the opening play and then ran havoc in the Swedish secondary. Finland head coach Tuomas Heikkinen then substituted freely in the second half while sticking to the ground game.

Photo: Salla Lahti

The Swedish offense, without normal starting quarterbacks Anders Hermodsson and Philip Juhlin, seemed toothless, unable to move the ball against a fierce Finnish front seven.

Sagne earned game MVP honors for Finland while Aslan Zetterberg was awarded the honor for Sweden.


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