Jaguars 9 – 11 Wolverines
For the second week in a row, we’ve won a tight one. This time we really took it down to the wire, with Janne Kalpio kicking the game winner with around one minute left in the game. The result will shock most critics, especially considering our 49-13 win over the Jaguars in the season opener. It is tough to pinpoint what has changed since then.
I have documented our struggles with injuries already, although there are more names on the list since last week. Against TAFT we lost Hannu Abonce (CB) and Karri Kuuttila (OL), exacerbating our roster problems. Even with those issues, however, we would have liked to score more on Sunday. We racked up somewhere in the region of 500 yards on offence, but turned the ball over 5 times and failed to make it into the endzone. I do enjoy seeing us bounce back from these things.
One of the great things that we’ve learned in the past two weeks is that we have a powerful tandem working between the offence and defence. When our defence performs poorly, the offence scores seemingly at will. Now it is clear that when the offence falters, the defence plays fantastically. The touchdown that we gave up this week came from a drive that started on our own 1 yard line…
Sami Toivonen again had a great game, but for me the stars were Matti Vaininen and Timo Heikkinen. I am slightly biased as they are both defensive backs, but they played exceptionally well. Matti, who is in his first year as a safety, found an excellent balance in pass coverage and run support. Timo, meanwhile, played as confidently as I’ve seen him in three years, despite the opposing quarterback trying to create one-on-ones against him. Even an awful pass interference call was not enough to put him off.
We travel to Oulu next week. It’s a long overnight trip to the Arctic circle. Fingers crossed that we turn on a performance, and are able to stay healthy so that we make it through to the playoffs intact.