Monthly Archives: June 2013

Game Day – Vantaa TAFT

29 June 2013

It has been three long weeks since our last game, which was a nice 46 to 15 victory over the Helsinki 69’ers. I think I got more sleep before that game. I got about five hours this time. I can’t seem to shut down the mind long enough to get some solid sleep before a football game. And, sadly, once I wake up I am up. I have never been able to fall back asleep once the system starts again.

In Finland, the mid-summer break is a big deal. When it happens (21 June) it seems the whole country shuts down. During the break, many people go to holiday cabins and have vacations. Shops and restaurants shut down and towns empty out. Because of this, the Maple League Schedule had no games from 17 June until 29 June. That is a two-week bye for everyone. The Crocodiles had a regularly-scheduled bye just prior, which made our break stretch into three weeks. I now know a little how some college coaches must feel between the end of their regular seasons and a coveted bowl game appearance.

Croc 2013 Schedule

Practices during the first two weeks off had been a bit frustrating due to the appearances of several bumps and bruises, some sickness, and interferring work schedules for the players. The practice week prior to our game today, however, has been our best. Intensity is running high and it seems the team is finding an identity. We finished up with our “walk-through” practice yesterday evening during a beautiful Finnish evening that found the sun out and a balmy +25 Celcius.

Today we play the TAFT from the town of Vantaa. Yes, the TAFT is the name of the team. I didn’t know what a TAFT was but we would be on the field at four o’clock kicking it off with them in our third Maple League contest. I was later informed that TAFT stands for Tikkurila American Football Team with Tikkurila being the Vaanta District.

Currently, we are one and one with a loss to the Butchers and a win against the 69’ers. The TAFT has started the season with two consecutive wins. Here are the current league standings as of today.

Maple League Standings 29 June 2013

TAFT has a Finnish quarterback, Kadmiry, who plays for the Finnish National American Football team. Both Charlie and I had the privilege of watching him play recently against a Division III American college football team here in Finland. We obviously also have had the opportunity to watch him on film over the course of the last three weeks.

The TAFT’s number one weapon, however, is a talented receiver named Andre Privott. Privott is an import player from America and played college ball at Southern Connecticut. In their opening contest against the Helsinki 69’ers, Privott had four receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns. His longest was 55 yards. The TAFT won 41 to 14. As a team, they rushed for 127 yards and passed for 146. The Finnish quarterback was 10 of 18 that day with three touchdown completions. In the TAFT’s most recent game against the Helsinki Wolverines, the TAFT pulled off an impressive come-from-behind win 34 to 21. In that game, Kamiry was 13 of 25 for 257 yards in the air and five touchdowns. Privott had seven catches for 199 yards with three touchdowns. His longest was a 51 yard strike. The TAFT rushed for 60 yards.

Here is a bit of pre-game media. The first link is a video interview of Charlie and I after our Thursday practice last week. The remaining links are Finnish articles. You can get a rough translation by using Google translation if you want to bother cutting and pasting the text into that tool. You will get about a 70% accurrate translation.

Video interview with Head coach Charlie and a word from me by Croc TV.

Article interviewing the Finnish quarterback Kamiry.

General pre-game matchup article.

Pre-game article from gridiorn.fi, which is a good source for Maple League information.

As always…the game will be decided on the field. The Crocodiles will come to play today with their best effort. Of that, I am sure.

The Rock Festival

15 June 2013

Provinssirock 2013… That was the big thing the weekend of the 15th. Provissirock is an annual rock festival held in a big park just outside of Seinajoki. This festival has been going on since 1979. The festival runs for three days most years – sometimes only two days. This year it ran three days. The attendance over the entire festival runs from 50,000 to 75,000 people. People come from all over the world to attend. Some big names over the history of this festival have included David Bowie, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and R.E.M. Camping areas are set up outside the festival area where people pitch their tents and stay for the duration. Many of the Crocodile football players pulled duty to help work the campgrounds as part of their effort to help with team costs.

I checked out the bands for this year and there was only one I recognized – Bad Religion. For me, the name stirred in my mind just a vague recollection. I really did not know anything about the band. I had to look them up to find out something about them. It turned out that they played on Friday and I would not have been able to be there on that day anyway. We were busy with a voluntary football practice during which two players showed up.

I found out from my friend Janne that I could get festival tickets a bit cheaper at the City Market, which was just down the road. So I set out to get a couple for Saturday only. Charlie had homework but said he could meet us there more toward the evening. Prior to going to the festival, I had been invited to attend a BBQ at Janne and Virpi’s house. Unfortunately, Charlie could not make the dinner part.

I briefly mentioned Janne in a previous post that had a bit about our Crocodile Kickoff party. That event is where I first met Janne and his wife Virpi. Janne owns a well-established music store in Downtown Seinajoki called Musiikki Järvenpää. The store was established by his Father 40 years ago. Janne played for the Crocodiles back in the day and now acts as the team’s accountant handling all the money matters. Virpi is a school teacher that works at a school in Seinajoki that I have ridden my bike past probably every day since I have been here.

On Friday I made the quick ride to the mall where the City Market was and got into a sizeable line to get my two tickets. When I finally reached the head of the line I tried a bit of Finnish on the guy behind the counter and he pretty much gave me a “are you some kind of idiot” look and said “excuse me?” in perfect English. I finished the transaction as if I were in any Fred Meyer’s store in states. The tickets were not cheap at 70 Euro a pop.

The next day, Saturday, I rode my bike to Janne and Virpi’s place, which is under the railway overpass and about 5 kilometers away from the main business district. I had prepared myself for this trip with quite a bit of perusing with Google Earth. I had been armed by Janne with his address and had pretty much traced the course I needed to take to get to his house. I was a couple of turns within reaching the house and getting along perfectly when a car pulled up next to me and the driver said “Are you lost?” It was Janne. I told him I was perfectly on track. He yelled to follow him and soon we were pulling into his driveway.

Janne-house

His house was a nice little suburban house with a nice sized living room. There was the kitchen and dining area that were off to the side of the main living area. Janne showed me his young son’s room that was decorated in special football wallpaper that he had ordered from the US.

Also there for the BBQ was a good friend of Janne’s from high school. His name was Juha and his wife’s name was Jenni. We sat in the living room and had a few beers while Janne busied himself grilling chicken, pork, pineapple, and corn on the cob.

Grill-dinner

The five of us sat down to a real feast. The food was excellent and the company was great. It was a very nice dinner and lots of good conversation. Soon, the ladies took off for the festival. Janne, Juha, and I hung out at the table for about another 90 minutes or so with some Cognac that was very good and more beer. Around five o’clock or so we decided to hit the trail with our bikes. We would be biking to the festival and leaving them there in a secured area for three Euros.

road-trip-to-festival-2

The ride was pleasant and we stopped mid-point to have another beer. Sort of a halftime event. I asked if this was illegal and they said no. You couldn’t do this in Oregon I said. Apparently, it is okay to have an open beer on a public bikeway in Seinajoki. We finished the beers and made the rest of the trip.

As we neared the festival entrance the street turned markedly crowded. We weaved our way into the area in which we would be locking up our bikes. My 20 Euro bill seemed to pose a bit of a challenge to the money taker. It took several trips to the till and some guidance on my part to get the 17 Euro back in change. I attributed that to the general festival activities.

We needed to turn our tickets into wristbands next and then clear a couple levels of security in order to actually enter the grounds. In the meantime, I had sent a text to Charlie telling him I would meet him at seven o’clock at the bike area. We navigated the ticket booth and security in fine fashion. Not many people in the actual ticket line. The security queue though was long and wide. It took a little while to get past all these check points. Finally, we were inside the grounds.

festival-ticket-booth Janne-getting-wristband
security-line through-security

Inside the grounds we found several large stages complete with lighting, sound, and video. I shot a bit of video of one so I could use it in this blog post. You can find it on Vimeo here.

People were everywhere in here. The general look of the people and in particular how they dressed actually reminded Charlie and I a lot of what you could see in downtown Portland Oregon. If it was weird… it was being worn. You also had to take into consideration the type of music being played at this festival. It was not your garden party variety. It was pretty much metal/post-punk/head-banging stuff. You could probably envision some of the crowd characteristics. For the most part, though, the crowd was represented by typical European people.

people good-shot-of-crowd

The grounds had no shortage of beer and food tents. We quickly found the “Tuborg” tent, which is a major sponsor of the festival and a pretty good maker of beer. You could buy the beer with the one Euro deposit for a total of seven Euro. Later, you could return the can and get the Euro credit. This made for some deep discounts on subsequent beer runs depending on how much effort you were willing to put in on finding mashed up discarded cans.

guitar-on-water

Pretty soon it was nearing seven o’clock and I needed to get back outside the gates to meet up with Charlie. I was on my way out when my phone alerted me to a text message. It was from Charlie saying he was there. I got out of the place shortly and hailed him down. He was waiting at the edge of the road amongst a crowd of people getting ready to cross the street.

We repeated the process to turn his ticket into a wristband, cleared security, and hooked back up with our group at what was the second stage which we had visited. From that point on, we spent our time basically visiting and meeting friends of Janne. Janne is quite well connected being in the music business and a former player for the Crocs. It was a much enhanced experience going to the festival with him rather than on our own.

charlie-meeting-ex-crocodile Janne-Scott-Sakke

The guy I am talking with in the picture to the right is named Saku. Janne told me that he was awarded with the top Salesman of the Year Award for Toyota automobiles in all of Finland. He was a very nice guy and I could see how he would be a good salesman. The person Charlie is shaking hands with is an ex-football player from the town of Taft. We play Taft in our next game on June 29th here at the Swamp.

Here are some more shots that included a group shot with Janne and Saku on my right and Virip and Jenni on my left; one of me, Charlie, and Janne; a shot of Charlie and Risto re-enacting the epic Dutch/Dillon handshake from the movie “Predator”; and finally, a shot somebody took of me and Janne basically out of control singing.

the-gang janne-charlie-scott
Risto-charlie janne-scott-singing

Around two o’clock in the morning, it was time to get out of there. Charlie and I grabbed a quick burger at one of the many food booths and headed out of the grounds. We got the bikes and made the quick three kilometer ride home. It was a good time and one that I had not wanted to miss. It gave us a real chance to experience first hand some of the Seinajoki summer culture.

Gracious Hosts

31 May 2013

One thing about Finland for Charlie and I is we are strangers in a strange land. I did not anticipate the feelings of isolation I would experience here. What I overlooked was the basic need to be able to understand people. When you can’t speak or comprehend the language you become a little island in a sea of land. That is why getting invited to go eat supper with one of our players and his family was such a treat.

It was a Friday and practice was just wrapping up. We were on the cusp of a bye weekend and Charlie and I would be leaving for a quick trip to Estonia early then next day. This evening, though, would be spent at the house of one of our players, Aki Mäki-Ikola and his wife Mia, eating, drinking, and visiting.

aki

Aki plays center and a bit of defensive line for us. He is a man, at 41, whose passion for the game far exceeds the rationale behind him even strapping on the gear and stepping into the battle at that age. Most of the players in this league are in their 20’s and the prime physical times of their lives. Yet, Aki is at every practice putting in the work, sweat, and desire to play in this League. I first met Aki (beyond a handshake) at the kickoff party for the Crocodiles in a local pub. I had the pleasure to sit at a table with Aki and Mia, his wife, as well as one of our Finnish coaches Toni and his wife Anna. We had a great visit and it was nice to converse one-on-one (so to speak) with some of the people in the organization.

After practice Charlie and I got into the car with Aki and we were quickly into a little neighborhood of Seinajoki whose street was lined with modest houses most of which had some sort of brick in them. We took the back entrance into the house’s back porch area, which Aki announced to us was only for family and friends. It was Aki and Mia’s youngest son’s birthday and Aki had purchased two collectable “Angry Birds” toys and had given then to Charlie and I to give to his son. (Now there is a selfless gesture.) We entered the house and his little boy was wide-eyed and met us at the door. We gave him his gifts from his Father and he was ecstatic, running off with his treasures.

In the kitchen, we found Mia busy putting the finishing touches on the meal. She was serving up elk steak, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, bread, salad, and two other dishes that would qualify as part of the salad family I am sure. Next to the kitchen the table was set with wine glasses, plates, cutlery and all that is necessary for a feast.

We visited a while and Aki decided that we had time for a quick sauna before supper. We removed ourselves to an adjoining room and stripped down, grabbed some towels, a cold “Koff” beer and entered the small sauna. It was good for about four people with its hot rock center. Aki assured us that it was a bit on the “cooler” side tonight as he ladeled water onto the rocks. It didn’t seem cool to me. Each time the water hit the rocks we were blasted with a new wave of heat and steam. It was a nice way to unwind from practice.

We lasted about 10 minutes in the sauna and were soon showered and dressed for dinner. Dressing in the side room I noticed a small collection of Tolkeinisms, which included the same collector DVD series of the Peter Jackson directed “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and a really cool statue of the character “Gollum” crouching down and clutching a fresh fish. I asked Aki later that evening about his Tolkein stuff and he told me he had many of the books Tolkein had written. I shared that I also had a nice collection of his writings and we noted that it was very hard to get a hold of some of his writings.

It was time to eat. We were instructed to grab our plates and load up. Also at the table was Aki and Mia’s oldest son, who is 14. He proved to be quite the conversationalist and very interesting with his stories of schools and studies. His English was very good and he knew his geography. At one point during the dinner he produced his latest report card and it was proudly in the upper tiers of the system. We learned also that this would cost Aki (literally) as he had, as so many parents do, set up a monetary reward system as an incentive for good grades.

The dinner was fantastic! The steak (two servings) was tender and tasty. I had not eaten elk steak since my days in Klamath Falls at Don Petrie’s house while in college. Scalloped potatoes were becoming one of my favorite dishes in Finland and Mia’s were creamy and excellent. All the food was delicious. And to end it we had a pie-shaped chocolate desert that was like a giant soft cookie. Somehow I managed a couple servings of that as well. Throughout the dinner we had liberal portions of beer and wine.

dinner-aki-4

We spent quite a while at the table visiting and having a great time. Nobody really noticed the time had slipped into early morning when Aki slipped back to the table with three shot glasses filled with the fabled “Finnish Wine” – vodka. After some toasts to a great time and evening we all threw back the burning liquid. Probably should have stopped there but somehow there were two more shots delivered and I knew at that point it was going to be a rough morning heading for Estonia.

It was well into the the morning when we threw in the towel and Aki carted Charlie and I back to our respective apartments. I vaguely remember getting home and somehow managing to set the small alarm on my team cell phone for 7AM. Just time enough to come into the land of the living, shower, and be ready for Mika who makes it a habit of arriving 10 minutes before he says he will pick you up.

It was a great evening with a great family. Such a treat to be able to spend time inside the home of Aki and Mia.

Post Win

9 June 2013

After the win against the Helsinki 69ers, the post-game interviews, and helping clean up a bit around our home bench, Charlie and I found the video camera on which the game had been taped and biked our way to his apartment. It was about 8:30 that evening. We wanted to get the film uploaded to “Hudl”, which is a great application for capturing, marking up, and viewing individual plays of a football game. We had had to keep asking to finally get approval for this great tool but we finally got it. I had used Hudl extensively in the past season while coaching with the Banks Braves High School team.

Before hitting the apartment, we picked up a 12-pack of Karhu beer. We wanted to celebrate the win a bit while uploading the clips to he Hudl site. After getting the computer going we were soon recapping the game and enjoying our beers as the time marched towards midnight. The connection seemed a bit slow but the upload was making steady progress.

Finally, close to Midnight we were done. We had finished off the last of the beer when I had grabbed my coat and left the apartment for my own. I arrived back home right about Midnight.

While checking email, I was pinged by one of the local Cheer coaches over Facebook and she asked where Charlie and I were. She, Mika, Toni and another Cheer coach were evidently at a local Pub and were insisting that we get on the bikes and join them. I shot Charlie off an email telling him I was heading to the pub and he should meet us there. In 20 minutes we were all jammed in a booth and the beer was flowing. It was great rehashing the game’s highlights and reliving the victory. What a difference as compared to two weeks ago when the game had such a different outcome. That had been a long bus ride home with a stinging 51 point scar to remember.

Around 2AM the party moved to a local club named Karma. This was basically a nightclub and the average age in there was probably 25. I am sure I was near the oldest patron.

The place was packed and it was difficult to move from one area to another. Music was blasting over the club speakers and there was a steady flow of people in and out of the deck area and through all the main walkways. The club was large and had a healthy bar area, a dance floor, and even a special Karaoke room. When we entered the club, we immediately ran into many of the players also celebrating. This situation was in stark contrast to my 15 years coaching experience with high schoolers. A victory at Banks usually was followed by a couple hours spent in a classroom with the Head Coach processing the game film and then a 20 minute drive up the hill to house.

Karma turned out to be pretty fun as I got a chance to talk with several of the players in a different atmoshpere and we got some good feedback from them. At one point I had a microphone jammed into my hand by Jocques, our running back, as he insisted on “backup” while he performed “Livin’ On a Prayer.” Most of the songs were in Finnish and I tried my best to sing along. I had enough beer in me to actually enable that.

After the Karaoke room we migrated out to the dance floor. I took a seat on a stool and was basically just taking it all in and visiting with players. Dance floor was jammed and everyone seemed to be having a great time. We made it until the place shut down at 4AM. Outside it never got dark. I said my “good-byes” and got on the bike and pedaled home weaving a bit here and there but managed to make it home without becoming a statistic.

All in all it was a good time and a fun celebration for the win. The next day (all day) I was reminded why you don’t do this kind of stuff very often.

Crocs 46 – 69’ers 15

8 June 2013

Four hours of sleep is all I managed Friday Night. I had heaped a lot of pressure on myself and the team to not allow a repeat of the 51-point scoring avalanche put up against our defense two weeks ago. I spent my morning going over tendency reports for the 69’ers and watching more film clips from my little bench in the apartment. Pre-game meal was planned for Noon with Charlie at Wilson’s Pub, which is near my old apartment.

At Wilson’s I enjoyed one of the larger burgers at 17.5 Euros that came with some fries. It was a very good hamburger. I washed it down with a pint of Karjala, a local lager. We needed to be at the field house at 1:45 for individual team pictures, taping, and other preparations. While sitting at the table, we saw a large charter bus roll down the main road toward the stadium. I suspected that would be the 69’ers who featured Charlie McCrea, a talented and fast running back that could also throw the ball. McCrea had played many years for the Crocodile organization and I had listened all week to advice from players and coaches about his dangerous running abilities.

At the field house, the weather was beautiful with the sun out and a few clouds around. We got through tapings ankles, pictures, and player preparations. Our schedule for group arrivals onto the field were posted on the whiteboard and it was nearing the time when the first wave of skilled players would take the field for specialized warm-ups. That is when the weather turned.

The skies had slowly been darkening and some rain was beginning to spit down. Nothing too bad but it seemed to be getting progressively worse as the time clicked by. When the first group took the field it was beginning to be a steady rain. Not heavy at this point, but the droplets were big.

Forty five minutes before kickoff we were all on the field and the team was going through its team warm-ups when the rain started in earnest. It was now pretty much a downpour. At this point, the few fans that were in attendance were scrambling for umbrellas and ponchos. Flashes of lightning and sounds of thunder graced the skies. So far, nothing seemed close.

When I took the defensive backs for individual warm-ups, the rain had turned torrential. Just as I started with the group there was a bright flash and instantaneous boom as a healthy streak split the sky and banged into a grove of trees about 200 meters from the end of the feild. You could feel the power of this strike. Officials immediately emptied the field. The Crocs and 69’ers took refuge as the game was delayed. I, and everyone else, were drenched as I scrambled to get a spot in the scoring booth elevated above the field. It was jammed with as many bodies as could fit and we stood there steaming like cattle waiting out the storm. The rain had morphed into medium-sized hail that pelted the artificial surface and had begun to accumulate. Soon it was white.

field-hail-1

Finally, the storm subsided and we got out of what was turning into a mini sauna and retook the field. There were hopeful patches of blue in the sky and the rain had dimished to just a trace.

This was our first home game and Charlie and I were not really aware of the protocol here at the home stadium that preceded the kickoff. So it was a bit of a cluster for us as we were routed and rerouted to take various spots on the field to accommodate player introductions and pre-game steps. The final bit of pompt was the coin flip, which we won and with that chose to receive the ball.

coin-flip

We got the ball on our own 42 yard line and immediately hit a pass for a first down into 69’er territory. But two runs for losses forced a three-and-out with a punt. The 69’ers did not fare much better. McCrea did manage to break a run for 18 during that first defensive series but on the very next play we forced a fumble in the backfield and recovered. That was turnover number 1 toward our team goal of two per game.

possession

At the 4:50 mark in the first quarter we were in the endzone for six. The drive was highlighted with a Brown-to-Makinen completion inside the 10 that was a jump ball situation. Both Makinen and the defensive back had grabbed the pass and came down fighting for possession. The fight for the ball continued with neither player yeilding and after unraveling it all the referees signalled Croc possession.

The Croc defense forced another three-and-out punt and we had the ball again. Two failed pass attempts and a sack forced our own punt that we downed deep in 69’er territory on the 8 yard line.

thomas-pick

The 69’ers took control. They managed a first down and then, under pressure, threw up an off-balance, desparation pass on a rollout. Our Safety Stacey Thomas was waiting like a centerfielder for the ball to come down and his interception gave us turnover number two – turnover goal achieved.

crawford-run

It was Croc ball at the 50-yard line. The very next play saw Jocques Crawford, our powerful running back break a run down the sideline for six at the 1:15 minute mark in the quarter. Another failed conversion attempt (a kick this time) and it was Crocs 12 and 69’ers zero. When the quarter ended the 69’ers were lining up for another punt.

fumble

Our initial second quarter possession resulted in a turnover when we fumbled and lost the ball. The 69’ers capitalized with a 50 yard McCrea scamper into the endzone. His run reminding me of his legendary status in Seinajoki. As much as he had been built up to us during the preceeding week of practice both Charlie and I were convinced there must be some street named after him in some corner of the town. The 69’ers convert and it is 12 to 7 with with 10:36 remaining in the half. Life had been injected into the club on the opposite side of the field.

crawford-score

We took the kick and started at the 20 yard line. A rush for 14 yards and a Brown completion for 30 set up a 36 yard rush by Crawford to capture our third score at the 9:43 minute mark in the half. A 2-point conversion try again fails. We are leaving points off the board badly with our PAT and conversion attempts.

5-yard-loss

The defense took the field after the kick and we forced another three-and-out punt. The stand was highlighted by an excellent play in the flats that dropped a swing receiver for a 5-yard loss. Our ensuing drive ended with a punt at the 4:04 minute mark.

The Remainder of the half resulted in good play by the defence forcing another punt and a stop as the time ran out. Our only possession also resulted in a punt. So at the break, the Crocs led 18 to 7.

halftime

The field house was too far away to get back to for the break. Plus, the referees had shortened the halftime down to 15 minutes to try and get the game a bit back on schedule from the delayed start. Traditionally, the team gathered behind the home’s sideline bleachers down on the access road. The team split into various groups and we addressed each side of the ball separately. No adjustments needed for defense. We defended the 69’ers for eight separate drives: four punts, two take-aways, a touchdown, and time expiring. We had held the 69’ers to 110 total yards of offense.

kickoff

The second half we kicked off the ball. The defense held them on downs when the 69’ers elected to go for a 4th and 3 on the 50. We had good pressure on the quarterback as he had desperately flung out a swing pass that sailed over the head of the emerging back. Crocs ball.

crawford-score-2

A completed pass, a few short runs, and then a power run by Crawford for 16 yards at the 7:06 minute mark pushed the score to Crocs 24 and 69’ers 7.

nasty-run

defensive-stand

Apparently, the 69’ers had not rolled over just yet. After the kickoff, they put together an 11-play drive primarily using what I call their “Nasty” formation. For those of you familiar with the older Oregon high school COWAPA league in which both Charlie and I coached for years, the Nasty formation is identical to what Coach Ware from Rainier ran (and probably still does). They overload one side of the center so they have four down linemen and stack the four backs (quarterback included) into the backfield. The only difference between what we were seeing from the 69’ers and what we used to see with Rainier was that the 69’ers put the quarterback under center (usually) whereas Rainier went from a shotgun set. This is a tough set to defend as they would throw a lot of bodies at you to the strong side and you have to match force with force. Add to that the fact that occasionally a coach would counter out of it or go to the weak side. It is a good offense with which to grind out 4 to 6 yards a play.

The 69’er drive was capped with a 14-yard pass play over one of our corners for the touchdown. They lined up for the PAT and botched the snap. However, the holder had gotten the edge on the scramble and converted the try for two points. The holder had evidently barely been able to stretch the ball over the goal line breaking the plane. At the 3:16 mark in the 3rd Quarter it was Crocs 25 and 69’ers 15.

sideline-coaching

We took the kickoff and a 28-yard Crawford rush and 25-yard Brown-to-Makinen pass found us in the endzone quickly. The PAT failed at the 2:40 minute mark and the Crocs lead grew to 16 points at 31 to 15.

passing-touchdown scoreboard

The third quarter ended with the Croc defense forcing another punt. The 69’er drive, however, was electrified momentarily with a 16-yard McCrea run.

McCrea-run McCrea-slide

Our offense began the fourth quarter deep in the swamp on the 5-yard line. We picked up a rushing first down and then the 69’ers got hit for an unsportmanlike penalty that gave us another boost out to our 30 yard line. We found ourselves with a daunting 3rd and 23 situation when Brown hit Pulkkinen for a 50 yard completion that got us to the 69’er 31-yard line. A short pass and then a 23-yard scramble on a pass play by Brown got us the score. We converted on the PAT with 9 minutes to go in the game. The Crocs were at 39 and the 69’ers were at 15.

the-swamp Brown-scramble

The kick return found the 69’ers on their 35-yard line. The 69’ers put together an 11-play McCrea-led drive. It was McCrea both running and passing the ball. He had taken control of the offense at the quarterback position. They worked their way down to our 13-yard line and had a 1st and 10 situation.

McCrea-rollout BJ celebrate

Four incomplete passes later we had the ball with 5:20 remaining in the game.

From our own 13-yard line, we mounted a final 8-play drive capped by a 17-yard Crawford touchdown run with only 1:30 remaining. This was Crawford’s fourth visit to the endzone. The PAT was good and that was the end of the scoring with a final Croc 46 and 69’er 15 result.

Crawford-high-five

It was a good win and a step in the right direction.

One final highlight for the defense was a second interception by our corner “Doc” to snuff the final drive by the 69’ers. We played out a couple runs to kill the clock and the game was over. The sun was fully out and weather was beautiful.

cheer

For those interested, you can find statistics here and a couple post-game interviews from the local media here with Charlie and I. You can find an article written in Suomi (Finnish) here. More pictures here.

We were now faced with a three-week bye before we take the home field again on 29 June against TAFT.