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Butchers go for six in a row in Finland
The Butchers defend their title against the winners of the regular season, the Seinäjoki Crocodiles, at Vantaa on Saturday. The Crocodiles have won the Maple Bowl once, in 2001. In 2005 and 2007 they lost close final games to the Butchers.
The Butchers are led by quarterback Robert Johnson, who has thrown a total of 143 touchdowns in his four seasons in Finland. Another key player for the Butchers is former Nebraska and NFLE offensive lineman Seppo Evwaraye. Evwaraye's career has been one of the greatest in the history of Finnish football, and it will come to an end on Saturday as he is retiring from the game.
Head coach Jim Nendel emphasizes that the winning tradition the team has built over the years really shows this time of the year.
"I think that the experience is great in that our guys understand the entire
championship experience as they have been there before. So they are relaxed at practice and will be in all the preparations up to the game. I think that they also understand when to turn up the heat and get er goin'".
The Crocodiles play an aggressive defense and have the best running back in the Maple League in Greg Fountain. He led the league in rushing, and ran over the Helsinki Roosters in the semifinal, gaining 336 yards. At quarterback, first year pro Alex Rouse has played efficient football, passing for 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions in the regular season.
The game can be seen live and free on the internet at http://www.sajl.fi/media/netti-tv/ . Kickoff is at 3.15 PM CET Saturday.