top of page

Steelers,Crocodiles, and Helsinki Roosters Stay Undefeated, While Crusaders Make Big Strides

Week 4 continued the dominance of the Seinäjoki Crocodiles, Helsinki Roosters and Kuopio Steelers, but the losses we witnessed were not as disastrous as they could have been. Here’s your weekly check-up on each team in the power rankings with the Crusaders moving up from the last spot.


1 – Seinäjoki Crocodiles (4-0)

Seinäjoki Crocodiles remained undefeated as they took a whopping 41–63 win over the Lohja Crusaders. The sudden awakening of the Crusaders was certainly a surprise to the Finnish football community, but the Crocodiles managed to keep control over them despite the scoring feast. Christian Arrambide, who was named AFF Offensive Player of the Week, threw 7 touchdowns and rushed for another one. Joel Särkelä had a receiving touchdown hat trick. Christian Powell rushed for one and had one receiving touchdown. Solid effort from team Green.


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

Week 5 is a road game for the Crocs as they travel to Kuopio and face the Steelers. It is the first game this season between the teams who have remained undefeated so far, and we are all excited to see how the Crocodiles defense will be able to keep a hold of the passing game of Kuopio. The Steelers’ D-line knows how to add pressure to the QB, but the Seinäjoki Crocodiles have proved they can play well against a solid d-line.


2 – Helsinki Roosters (4-0)

The first Helsinki derby of the season showed that Helsinki is red, at least in the football context. The final score of 0-63 is proof that the Roosters dominated and remain a threat towards the entire league. The Roosters offense went all over the place as they liked, with RB Ethan Greenfield being the star of the show with 4 rushing touchdowns and 156 yards on the ground. One of the finest plays of the game, however, was the courtesy of the Roosters defense as Eemeli Tuovinen caught an interception and returned it for 40 yards. Now it’s time to thank the Roosters for an entertaining early season as they get a bye week during week 5.


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

3 – Kuopio Steelers (3-0) and an Interview with Joshua Taylor

The Kuopio Steelers came back from their bye week and had a strong performance against the Porvoo Butchers with a final score of 7-21. The Steelers’ defense played it rough against the Porvoo offense with the AFF defensive player of the week, Ja’Marcus Henderson, giving constant pressure to Brandon Gwinner.


I had a chat with the Steelers’ QB Joshua Taylor. I asked how the Steelers felt after beating the Butchers and making it 3-0. “It was a great opportunity to relax and get refreshed physically, but also gave us a chance to dial in on the mental aspect of the game. Preparation is probably the most important part of football and having that extra week to prepare went a long way” Taylor said. “The Butchers only have one win, but they are a very talented and well coached team. Getting that win felt really good and we will never take that for granted, but we also are not satisfied, because we are building towards something special, and this is one of the building blocks to get there” he continued.


When asked what has made it possible for the Steelers to get to the 3-0, Taylor said “Being 3-0 is not an easy thing to do, and the relationship we have built within the team is what has got us to this point. When you have a team full of guys who all have the same goal in mind you can be hard on each other and compete daily to reach that goal. Another big thing is having the ‘one day at a time’ mentality. We don’t dwell on the past and we don’t look too far to the future.

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

We focus on getting 1 % better every day and when you do that, you improve constantly, which is very important this early into the season.


Josh Taylor has been dominating the games with his receiver Austin Brock. The guys have a history of going to college together, and their connection on the field has been amazing. How does it feel to continue the partnership in a new country with such great results? “Having the opportunity to keep playing football and even going to another country is a blessing, but being able to do it with my best friend means the world to me. I think knowing AB has my back and I have his off the field helps us get the job done on the field” he said.

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

 I think knowing AB has my back and I have his off the field helps us get the job done on the field”


“The Crocs are a really good team with some really good players. As a competitor, these are the games to get the most excited about. I know their QB Christian (Arrambide), who is a great human but has also been playing some really good ball. Having him paired up with Christian Powell and seeing the things those two have been able to do get you excited to play against them” Taylor praised when asked how he feels about the week 5 home opener against the Seinäjoki Crocodiles. “But at the end of the day we know we have a lot of really good players who can make an impact on both sides of the ball. I’d say the key to staying undefeated would be to just stay within ourselves. We’ve been playing good ball and know what we’re able to do as a team. We just need to keep doing what we do and staying disciplined on our team goals, trusting each other and everything else will take care of itself” he continued. This battle between team (red-) black and team green is probably the game of the week. Funny enough, it’s also the week of another black-green competition as The House of the Dragon finally returns. Yours truly is a little geeky excited about that.

Photo Credit: Gerly Matihaldi

I’d say the key to staying undefeated would be to just stay within ourselves.


4 – Porvoo Butchers (1-3)

The Porvoo Butchers probably had high hopes for their game against the Kuopio Steelers during week 4. Unfortunately, their hopes could not be fulfilled, as the Kuopio offense played superior ball this time, in addition to the Steelers’ defense keeping the Butchers’ offense scoreless throughout the game, despite some good effort from the home team. The only major point of success for the Butchers was the Ballers International top play of the week, when Zach Wright caught a pick-6 towards the end of the game.

Check out that and the rest of the Top 10 Maple League plays on the Ballers International Youtube here


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

The Butchers host the Lohja Crusaders in week 5. If Porvoo can hold up on defense and finish drives their offense, they can get their second win of the season. Of course it’s not a given, especially after the performance the Crusaders gave us last week.


5 – Wasa Royals (0-3)

The Wasa Royals are yet to have their first win of the season and coming off bye week for round 5 is a chance for them to get their win column opened. The Royals will travel to Helsinki to meet the Wolverines, who have not shown a lot of progress so far. If the Royals only remembered they could give the ball to other players than Alpha Jalloh, they would be able to get Jalloh and other players to the endzone with a much better result than we’ve seen so far.

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen


6 – Lohja Crusaders (0-3)

The Lohja Crusaders certainly raised some eyebrows in the Finnish football community last week when they kept on scoring against the Seinäjoki Crocodiles. The seemingly great score of 41 points just wasn’t enough this time, but it showed us that the Crusaders may be onto something bigger this year. One major factor in the game was Leonardo Sofoklis, who played both sides of the ball and led the team in total yards, made 4 touchdowns, and did some punting in between.


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

It seems that Bryce Macina has found his guy, but they face the Porvoo Butchers the upcoming week. We’ll have to see if the Butchers’ defense has found a way to keep Sofoklis contained. It’s not a great situation to have only one guy in the roster who makes the plays, but it is a beginning.


7 – Helsinki Wolverines (0-3)

The Helsinki Wolverines is a team that we all expect to do something, but so far it has not happened. The Helsinki derby last week was supposed to be the Wolverines’ home game, but as I mentioned above, Helsinki is a red city, and it showed in the crowd.


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

The Helsinki Wolverines face the Royals in week 5, and that means their best chance yet to get their win column open, since both teams are looking to get that first W of the season. It is clear that the expectations are high in the Wolverines’ house, but they may be the only ones at this point.



Week 5 games

Week 5 will certainly bring a shift to these rankings as the winning teams face each other, as well as the losing ones, just before the midsummer break. Due to that, I will not be writing this piece next week, but there will be a big update on the Women’s Maple League coming up. Happy week 5 and safe juhannus everyone!

Thursday June 13th Porvoo Butchers Lohja Crusaders at 18:30

Friday June 14th Helsinki Wolverines Wasa Royals at 18:30

Saturday June 15th Kuopio Steelers Seinäjoki Crocodiles at 16:30


bottom of page