Helsinki Wolverines vs. Lappeenranta Rajaritarit

Date: Sunday, June 4th, 2000

Kickoff: 1530H

Location: a soccer field in Lappeenranta, Eastern Finland close to the Russian border.

Weather: Overcast skies. Slight breeze from the West. Windchill 48F. Slight drizzle before kickoff.

Field Conditions: Excellent. Damn good grass. This soccer field was lined in better fashion than last week’s pitch. It was arranged for a 90 yard football field with the center stripe marked at the 45 yard line. Metal poles duct-taped to white soccer goals played the role of field goal uprights.

Uniforms: The Wolverines wore last year’s unis (new ones still haven’t arrived yet). White jerseys, gold pants, blue helmets with Wolverine wings & stripes. The Border Knights wore black jerseys, red pants and black helmets (among the many sponsors knitted on their jerseys was Green Fizz Cider, plus an Olvi beer sticker could be found on the side of their helmets)


First Quarter

BK kicked the ball off and the ‘Rines had an excellent run back to the BK’s 30 yard line. 15 yards were called back on a clipping charge. We then ran, then we passed and we scored on a pass play. XPA was muffed on either the snap or it was blocked, I was busy blocking so I couldn’t tell.

Wolverines 6 – Border Knights 0

BK got the ball and couldn’t do a thing with it, although they were trying to establish a running game. Kudos to the defense for their first stiff of the day. BK had a great punt to the Wolverines 10 yard line. This drive was a memorable one. We passed, we ran, we marched down the field. We couldn’t be stopped. We ate time away from the clock and and then we scored on another pass play. We made the XPA on this one.

Wolverines 13 – Border Knights 0

The BK’s made a couple first downs. Then we intercepted the ball.

Second Quarter

Our third drive saw us run a few times and them we punched it into the endzone with another great running effort.
The 2-point try was good.

Wolverines 21 – Border Knights 0

At this point, the BK’s stopped trying to pass and continued their ground game. They didn’t pull their guards at all, but they had some meat and potatoes in their line to make a few holes. A few long runs and they had the ball around center field. And then they went deep on a pass that toasted our safety. Needless to say our Coach was ticked off.

Wolverines 21 – Border Knights 6

After the first score of the season against our defense, the offense had to prove itself once again. We ran and passed some more and ate some time off the clock. With 50 seconds left, we worked the clock well enough to score right before the half. XPA was good.

Wolverines 28 – Border Knights 6

Third Quarter

The ‘Rines kicked off. 4 plays later there was muffed punt snap that the punter fumbled. Wolverines ball on the 15 yard line. It didn’t take us long to score again. XPA was good or missed. I don’t remember, but it doesn’t matter at this point in the game.

Wolverines 34 – Border Knights 6

We scored a few more times. Missed a couple more XPAs, but had another nice 2-pointer on a ‘threading-the-needles’ type pass between 2 defenders. The BK’s scored once again by being able to pound the ball. We recovered another fumble deep in BK territory on a QB sack that popped the ball loose.

Final: Wolverines 53 – Border Knights 12

Summary: It was another superb effort by the Wolverine offense. Plus our valiant defense caused the turnovers that made up for the two touchdowns the BK’s scored on us. Now we focus on our first home game versus the Helsinki 69ers at the Helsinki Velodrome on Saturday, June 10th.

From a Center’s Perspective: The BK’s had a 5-man front with a large hairy dolphin of a man standing before me. I called him the walrus because of the mustache and because I couldn’t really see all of his chin-strap due to the huge double chin. Nonetheless, I was able to man-handle this guy using my knowledge of physics and proper leverage. I felt sorry for him after a while since he looked like he had some ankle pain. But we continued to show no mercy. Our offensive line allowed one sack during the game with a blitzing linebacker from the sides. But all middle blitzes were stopped. Also, there were no fumbled snaps nor problems with the snap count. 100% accuracy in this department.

The good news is that we won but especially there are no injuries to report. The road trip was cool too. We had a charter bus and the movie entertainment included “The WaterBoy” and “Hard Rain”.

That’s all for now. Until next week.

–Nando Miranda #63

Mid-season Notes: This is a story of a contact sport called American football. This isn’t like the movies “Rudy” or “The Longest Yard”. It’s the story of opportunity, seizing the moment, exploring open doorways, walking through them and changing your world with the desire for more experiences. There are no barriers if you learn to think that anything is possible. What is a modern day societal goal can actually become an impetus for change. Turn that new car into a one year sabbatical from your every day job. Mice running within a spinning wheel we are not. Turn your desire to update your computer into a course to learn shiatsu massage. Things can’t bring long-term happiness. Don’t fall into the trap. Seek new experiences and meet new people. Discover what makes you and world around you tick.

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