Team Finland spotted Denmark a 3-0 lead and then found another gear scoring 44 straight points in the final three quarters to power past the Danes 44-3 in IFAF 2020 European Championship qualification play.
With the win, Finland wins Division B and moves on to the final four, joining Italy who has also qualified. The Finns downed the Netherlands in the opening game of the division.
Finnish quarterback Miro Kadmiry completed 10 of 14 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns with wide receiver Micky Kyei catching three for 36 and a touchdown and Mikko Seppänen catching two for 28 and the other touchdown. Tuukka Lehtonen had 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Veikka Lehtonen had seven carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Karri Pajarinen added another touchdown for Finland while Roope Niskanen kicked a a 37 yard field goal and five extra points.
For Denmark, quarterback Thomas Zinck threw for 77 yards and was his team’s leading rusher with 52 yards rushing on 14 carries. Lasse Lykke had a rough day carrying the ball 22 times for 47 yards. Mark Peters had four receptions for 19 yards and Jacob Callesen caught two passes for 28 yards.
Denmark opened the scoring after an excellent first quarter which saw the Danes reach Finland’s five yard line on their second possession. The Finnish defense held strong and Denmark’s Aske Klixbül kicked a 22 yard field goal giving Denmark a 3-0 lead.
That’s when the game changed.
Finnish quarterback Miro Kadmiry marched his team 50 yards in seven plays on the next series, and Pajarinen weaved his way in from nine yards out to give Finland a 7-3 lead, two minutes into the second quarter.
With the Danish offense suddenly unable to move the ball, Kadmiry mounted another drive, moving Finland from their own 25 yard line down to the Danish 10. On the next play he found Seppänen from 10 yards out and Finland took a 14-3 lead, still early in the second.
Finland wasted no time as the defense held the Danes to a three and out and three plays after that Kadmiry hit Kyei for a two yard touchdown pass and Finland led 20-3 midway through the second quarter.
Then, Denmark’s defense picked off Kadmiry on three straight possessions, but the offense could not capitalize and Finland went into the break holding a 20-3 lead.
The Finns opened the third quarter with another scoring drive, this time starting in good field position following a failed onside kick attempt by Denmark. Five plays later, Vekko Lehtonen plunged in from the three and Finland extended the lead to 27-3.
Finland added two more touchdowns in the third quarter with both Lehtonens scoring as the Danish offense completely stalled. Tuukka scored on a seven yard run to up the score to 34-3 and Vekko added a 16 yard touchdown and Finland took a 41-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
Niskanen kicked a 37 yard field goal midway through the fourth.
Denmark’s offense finally came alive late in the fourth as Zinck marched his team from his own 20 to the Finnish 27 yard line. But the Finnish defense forced a fumble, snuffing the drive out and Finland earned an important win.
Finland has now advanced to the IFAF 2020 European Championship final four which continues next year.