Amsterdam Crusaders open Dutch season with easy win, aiming for return to European elite

The defending Dutch champion (2019) Amsterdam Crusaders opened the 2021 season in impressive fashion, dominating their 2019 finals opponents, the Lelystad Commanders, whipping them 56-19.

The game was played in Amsterdam due to poor field conditions at Lelystad’s home field.

Amsterdam took charge early with Berto Stuijt finding a seam and racing for a long touchdown. Then the Crusaders added a field goal to make it 10-0 still in the first quarter.

Amsterdam RB Travis Fraser #14 finds running room Photo: Sandra Ruhe

Commanders‘ wide receiver Frank van Berkum answered for an injury-depleted Lelystad squad, scoring the first of his three touchdowns on the day, narrowing the lead to 10-7. However, it was tough going after that as first Travis Fraser scored on an 80-yard run and then Juliani Cotin, Urakaj Achthoven and Jazz Holiday all added touchdowns for Amsterdam.

Scoring twice more for Lelystad van Berkum did his best to keep his team close, but it was to no avail as Crusaders running back Miquel Castelen added the final touchdown late in the contest.

Amsterdam quarterback Jasper Nijland was happy that the season has started again, despite the rainy conditions:’

“Even if it snows, it doesn’t matter, everyone wants to get on the field. We’ve been practicing for a long time, but when you start practicing and you don’t have a direct opponent, it’s different. So now it’s great to have real bodies in front of you, who do different things than your practice buddies.”


Amsterdam QB Jasper Nijland #9 getting set Photo: Bob de Calonne

Still, the quarterback and the rest of the young team are aiming high again:

“Expectations are always high. The goal is to reach the top in Europe again so you have to conquer the Netherlands first. It’s hard to say anything about that now because we have so many young guys, but our goal is always to make it to the Tulip Bowl and win it.”

Source: Gridiron NL.

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