01.06.2008 klo 18:49
The young Trojans faced Helsinki Roosters on Impivaara Field in adverse conditions. With 43°F temperatures, winds, and constant pouring rain, it must have taken twice the concentration to play the effective game our boys did. The game lasted as long as 2 hours and 57 minutes and was riddled with penalties, fumbles, interceptions, and the like. Nevertheless, the Trojans would not give the opposition half a chance to win.
The Trojans faced a promising opposition the first minutes of the game. Although they returned the kickoff all the way to the opposing 20-yard line, they could not advance the ball at all past Roosters’ pass defense and had to turn the ball over on downs. Roosters’ drive was little better; they lost yardage to sacks (LB Martti Välimaa in action) and penalties and had to punt. The Trojans’ 2nd drive was exciting. They gained 30 yards in penalties alone. QB Danny Andersson’s and RB Ville Järviö’s running plays brought the team to opposing 2, when all hell broke loose. The ball was fumbled but luckily recovered at 9-yard line. The Roosters stripped the ball on the following play. However, they fumbled the ball on their first play and LB Otto Kurkijärvi recovered it with no delay. The chaotic situation ended in the home team's favour, as Ville Järviö put ball into the end zone. The PAT was missed because of a bad snap with the wet ball; 6-0.
Ville Vene feels pain in his chest as he finds the ball escape his grasp.
The Roosters’ 3rd drive was a disaster. Their offense was hampered by penalties and guys such as LB Sami Toivonen (pass block, sack) and LB Otto Kurkijärvi (sack). To make things even worse, they fumbled the ball and let Martti Välimaa claim it as his own. Trojans kept the fumble fest going. First one was recovered self, but the second one by the defense. But what do you know, the down was repeated because of a premature whistle. The offense picked up from there and WR Ville Vene scored a TD with a high catch in the end zone. Ville Järviö was credited a 2-point conversion for 14-0.
The Roosters gave the referee some constructive feedback and earned 30 yards worth of penalty. The Trojans had the unusual situation of kicking off from the opposing 25-yard line! Too bad the onside kick was not successful but resulted in a touchback. The Trojan defense was, as usually, in great shape and Rooster passes could not find a receiver. They had to punt, and the following minutes were mostly about Ville Järviö running with the ball. Finally a successful play action pass was caught by Ville Vene who also took it in for a TD. The two-point conversion was no good. 20-0.
"I'll race you to your end zone!" Ville Järviö uses psychology to outsmart his opponent.
The Rooster offense was cut short in the 2nd quarter when Ville Vene got an interception. What followed was a difficult drive for the home team. In despite of the penalties and sacks, the boys brought the ball close enough for Ville Vene to once again seal the deal. Again they went for a 2-pointer but to no avail. 26-0 nonetheless.
Calm and collected. QB Danny Andersson deals his team a winning hand.
The Roosters started a long campaign to score points. Effective defense took care of that though, and the fans witnessed nice sacks by LB Miko Ylikoski and Martti Välimaa, a great tackling of the receiver by DB Joel Rantanen, and a pass block (nearly an interception) by Mikko Rannikko. The ball was turned over to the Trojans, who wasted no time in scoring again. The TD was credited to Ville Järviö but the 2-point try was no good. 32-0.
There's nothing like a game of Yahtzee to cool things down.
The visiting team’s first down was pass intercepted, this time by Joel Rantanen. The Trojans came real close to another TD (opp 10), but they were interrupted by the clock. The Roosters fumbled the ball right away on kickoff, giving the Trojans another go at it. To make things more interesting, our boys fumbled the ball back to the opposition. Another chaotic situation ensued, during which the Rooster QB was injured, the Trojans fumbled the ball twice and more penalties were issued. When the smoke cleared, we were all surprised to see Roosters with eight points earned. It had been a while since anyone scored against the young Trojans. To say something positive, the boys fought hard and LB Ilkka Koiranen did a good assisted sack to help out his team in need. 32-8. From this point on the author’s notes were dripping wet and the details are a bit sketchy.
Angry linebacker hates quarterback. A Rooster teammate is holding on to Martti Välimaa to prevent a disaster.
The kickoff was fumbled and recovered by the opposition (am I repeating myself?), but eventually the Trojans were able to get the thing back and score a TD. Ville Järviö’s blast brought the figure to 38-8 and Miko Ylikoski kicked in one more for Trojans. 39-8. The beginning of the 4th quarter was Sami Toivonen time; his running plays gained yardage and scored. 46-8. The Roosters lost the possession of the ball twice, and eventually suffered another touchdown. Ville Järviö ran to the end zone and Miko Ylikoski’s PAT was good. 53-8. The visiting team failed a punt due to a bad snap and gave the Trojans another chance from a good field position. WR Mikko Rannikko scored a touchdown and Miko Ylikoski’s PAT was good. The remaining two minutes did not produce points, and the young Trojans earned their place in the championship final with a 60-8 game against Helsinki Roosters.
Years of experience officiating football does not prepare you for the kind of grace that is characteristic of Ville Vene.
Story: Jussi Hakokari
Photography: Kari Toivonen