Alphen Eagles Three-Peat; Win Tulip Bowl XXX, Dutch Championship

“..it was scrappy, in-your-face football. And great to watch.”

Photos via Jaap Hoek

-Arnhem, Netherlands

The Tulip Bowl XXX produced a three-peat champion as the unbeaten Alphen Eagles edged the Amsterdam Crusaders 14-12 in the final. This was the third year in a row that the Eagles have prevailed over Amsterdam in the championship. The game reflected the score as both teams played a tough, punishing style of football, at times even mean. It was clear that they did not like each other. It was scrappy, in-your-face football. And great to watch.

The Crusaders opened the scoring in the first quarter after picking off Alphen quarterback Richard Bouthoorn. Amsterdam quarterback Joey Kraan, guided the Crusaders down to the Alphen 30 yard line and then found receiver Frank van Berkum for the touchdown giving the Crusaders a 7-0 lead. 

06-07-2014: American Football: Alphen Eagles v Amsterdam Crusaders: Arnhem

Alphen running back Chris Smith evened the score two series later, carrying the ball in from the two yard line. Amsterdam moved the ball down to the Alphen 35 yard line on the ensuing drive but a 52 yard field goal attempt fell short. The Eagles started a drive from their own 20 and with Bouthoorn picking apart the Crusader defense, he finally found a receiver  for a 36 yard gain down to the Amsterdam 20. Chris Smith struck again, scampering in for a 20 yard touchdown and the Eagles took the lead 14-7. That was the halftime score.

Emotions rose in the second half as neither team could gain any momentum. The Crusaders forced a safety forcing Richard Bouthoorn into the end zone closing the gap to 14-9.  Amsterdam drove into the red zone midway through the third quarter but could not punch the ball in settling instead for a 12 yard field goal to make the score 14-12. Then, with Amsterdam playing desperately for the win in the fourth quarter, quarterback Joey Kraan, threw two uncharacteristic interceptions, one caught by Ananias Semedo and the other with two minutes to play by Erwin Gloudemans. The Eagles gained great field possession on the second pick moving the ball down to the Crusader two yard line. Amsterdam’s defense stiffened, not allowing the touchdown, and forced Alphen all the way back to midfield.

But the Crusaders could get no further and Alphen stood victorious. Quarterback Joey Kraan for the losers:

“Playing Alphen is always tough. They are a good physical team. This was a final the way it should be with no one backing down.”

Alphen Eagles defensive back Erwin Gloudemans was named MVP of the game.

06-07-2014: American Football: Alphen Eagles v Amsterdam Crusaders: Arnhem

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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