07.07.2008 klo 18:38
The Trojans faced the Maple League's toughest, Porvoo Butchers, in a home game. Unfortunate punting troubles spoiled what could have been the struggle of the season. Porvoo Butchers have won the championship three years in a row, and now they left home with their fifth consecutive victory this season.
The 1st Quarter of the game was very uneventful. Both teams could mount such a defensive barrier that very little was gained yardwise. Trojan LB Sami Toivonen was particularly eager to make the Butchers' road a rocky one. Something terrifying happened that might have well ruined the game for the Trojans. At their own 36-yard line, the Trojans were about to punt once again. The snap flew high over punter Janne Stenberg and landed all too close to their own end zone. Having only 10 yards to go, the Butchers quickly scored a TD. Taber Lemarr caught QB Steve Panella's pass in the end zone and kicker Ville Kurvinen made a six-point lead into a seven-point one. 0-7.
The Trojans, a believer in swift response, made a touchdown of their own in the next quarter, only five plays later. WR Ville Vene caught QB Jayson Davis's long pass from beyond the 50-yard line. Unfortunately Stenberg's kick that looked perfectly OK to the confident fans was ruled no good. 6-7. The rest of the second quarter featured a spectacular sack by LB Ilkka Koiranen, a fumble recovery by Sami Toivonen, an interception by the Butchers and many close-call situations in both good and bad. However, neither team would get the upper hand. The 3rd Quarter was equally challenging, and the best, painstaking efforts of the teams' offenses could not bring home the necessary yardage for a field goal let alone a touchdown.
Bad luck with punting haunted the Trojans more in the 4th Quarter. The Butchers were able to block one attempt and gain a very good field position (opp 25). Ilkka Koiranen and Jayson Davis worked side by side in the defense bringing one offense after another down in a rough but skillful manner. The Trojan defensive teamwork was commendable, but they could not stop a sudden deep-penetrating slants attack and a subsequent TD run by RB Markus Haverinen. The PAT was no good (6-13), but the Trojans never got around to taking advantage of it. The following, last Trojan offensive eventually made it to the opposing 5-yard line, but the exclusively rushing play decisions (very confusing to the layman) had run down the clock.
The Trojan game was rushing-heavy. Jayson Davis could not find a receiver several times and ended up doing a last-minute keep. Equally only 6 of the 15 pass attempts were caught. The defensive game was worth all the praise, as they kept their line pretty much watertight against a very, very tough opponent. Please bear in mind that both of the two Butcher TDs were scored after a botched punt attempt from unusually good field positions. The Butchers' defense was perhaps even tougher, which made the Trojan offense work real hard for every single yard gained. With better luck or more attention to detail the Trojans will make the Crocodiles work for theirs. Kickoff for the next home game is scheduled for Monday the 21st of July, 4 pm.
Story: Jussi Hakokari