25.07.2008 klo 18:38
The Trojans encountered a worthy rival in a home game the 21th of July. Seinajoki Crocodiles and the Trojans had played against each other 29 times before, out of which the Trojans have won 15 games and the Crocodiles 14. The all-time points for/ against ratio was 638-637 for the home team. However, the Crocs have improved lately and have managed to win the last five games against the Trojans (136-26); they are currently number two in the league right after the Butchers. The Crocs must have been pretty confident playing against a team whose season has been far from perfect so far. The Trojans finally got their offense going, however, while our much-applauded defense carried on playing a clockwork game. The boys were able to turn the tide and send the green machine home without a victory.
The Gravy Train is back in town. You don't go play on Johnell Wyatte's tracks if you know what's good for you.
Not everything started so smooth, though. After the kickoff the first Crocodile play brought the ball three yards from the Trojan end zone. That would've surely meant big trouble if it wasn't for the defense's success in pushing the offensive back. The final field goal attempt failed because of a bad hold and DB Seikko Vennela and LB Sami Toivonen brought the ball carrier down 25 yards from the end zone. The relief was short-lived, as the subsequent Trojan offense was cut short by a fumble. The Crocodiles recovered the ball and soon scored a touchdown (QB Jon Grant, receiver RB Mike Bolio). Sami Toivonen was able to block the extra point; 0-6.
The Trojans started a pass-heavy campaign with alternating receivers. A fresh reinforcement, WR Malaki Lesa from Southern California, caught QB Jayson Davis's pass in the right corner of the Crocodiles' end zone. Unfortunately the Trojans missed their PAT as well. 6-6. The following Crocodile's drive could not beat our defense and they had to surrender the ball at the end of the 1st Quarter.
Mike Bolio (#6) finds another holio to slither through.
The Trojans made a quick passing incursion deep into Crocodile territory (receivers Juha Suoniemi and Malaki Lesa). The Crocs suffered two injuries in the following three downs but they could keep Johnell Wyatte and Jayson Davis from running past their defenses. The home team opted for a field goal; a third missed kick in a row in the game. Again, the Trojan defense could keep the opposition from advancing, but the offense fumbled the ball back at the earliest convenience.
Chalk one down for Malaki Lesa and the Trojans!
The Crocodiles steadily approached our goal line until it was some 4 yards from scoring. Instead of going for a field goal they played a passing game that was readily blocked by Seikko Vennela. The Trojans were pinned down against their own goal line. Johnell Wyatte took matters into his own hands and ran past midfield, skillfully avoiding at least three tackles on the way. An ill-timed long pass granted the Crocs the benefit of an interception in a play so riddled with fouls the referee took some time to sort it out.
The Crocodiles, now in possession of the ball, gained more than 40 yards with a well-placed long bomb and got closer than 15 yards to scoring. Again the home team's defense brought all that to no avail. Malaki Lesa and and Johnell Wyatte took the ball to their own 38, from where QB Jayson Davis suddenly rolled all the way for a touchdown. The amazing 62-yard keep was truly something to look at and let the Trojans fans grab their halftime donuts in high spirits. 12-6.
Jayson Davis is reliable to whizz past any defense if he doesn't find a suitable receiver.
Davis performed another 50+ yard keep for a touchdown in the 3rd Quarter, but the score remained the same due to an illegal block in the back and a penalty was issued instead. WR Ville Vene managed to catch one of Jayson Daivs's passes in the opponent's red zone and pave the way for a redressal. Johnell Wyatte carried on with three consecutive rushing plays, the final blast through the Crocs' defense scored a third TD for the Trojans. 18-6. The Crocodiles wasted no time; they scored a TD in only 5 plays, the last of which was a truly remarkable catch and long run (65+) by Janne Rautiainen. Tomi Natri's PAT was good and the first successful point-scoring kick in the entire game. The first five had all been no good. 18-13.
Janne Rautiainen, a running back for Seinajoki Kung Fu Frogs, in action.
The rest of the 3rd Quarter was difficult for both teams as neither could advance considerably. Right in the beginning of the 4th Quarter Jayson Davis lobbed a long pass from beyond the 50-yard line. It was caught by Johnell Wyatte and once more the Crocs were trailing by more than one TD. The Trojans did well to go for a two-pointer, as this had been an incredibly bad kicking day for both parties. WR Nick Madsen caught a pass in the middle back section of the end zone put the Trojans in a 13-point lead. 26-13.
The Trojans soon got the ball back as the Crocodiles' drive ended in a punt. The lightning bolt known as Johnell Wyatte must have been well greased as he returned the deep punt all the way to the opposing 23! A nice curls pass to Janne Stenberg unfortunately ended up in an opponent stripping the ball from our receiver. The visitors took all the advantage of this surprising situation and began bombarding the Trojan turf with relentless passing. Regardless of some awesome pass defense by players such as Jayson Davis and Ilja Redin, the line of scrimmage was soon in our red zone. The defense ran out ammo and Kenny Bello caught a TD pass. The PAT was good; 26-20.
Ilja Redin and a crocodile appear to have issues with each other's clothing.
The Trojans were forced to punt but kept the possession as the opponent fumbled the ball during the punt return. Five consecutive running plays later, all by Johnell Wyatte, the Trojans scored for a last time. The 2-point conversion was incomplete, giving the final figure 32-20. There was some 4 minutes on the clock but neither team could muster enough momentum to score another time. The most valuable players were LB Ilja Redin and the Crocodiles' WR Jukka Satola. The Trojan LB Ilkka Koiranen is also worth mentioning as one of the key defensive players.
"Hey, YOU ain't going nowhere!" Once our defense singles you out, you're pretty much stuck.
Story: Jussi Hakokari
Photography: Kari Toivonen