Amsterdam Crusaders win Tulip Bowl XXXIII, capture 19th Dutch title

The Amsterdam Crusaders found themselves in the shocking position of trailing in Tulip Bowl XXXIII against the 010 Trojans from Rotterdam in a game that was supposed to be a cakewalk for them. So they kicked into a higher gear, scoring four unanswered touchdowns in the second half to defeat the pesky Trojans 33-13 in Almere, Holland.

This was the 19th Tulip Bowl victory for the Crusaders and it came exactly 30 years after their first one, in 1987.

Dylan von Gerhardt scored two touchdowns for the Crusaders while  Jasper Nijland, Janawski Davis and quarterback Keith “Keke Ray” scored one each as Amsterdam captured not only their 19th Dutch title but their third in a row and 11th since 2002.

Crusaders QB Keith “Keke” Ray Photo: Sander Evenwell

Running back Kevin Wesseling scored both touchdowns for the Trojans.

Ray opened the scoring for Amsterdam on one of his patented quarterback scampers and the 7-0 lead held until the second quarter when Wesseling scored to tie the game 7-7 at the half.

Then Wesseling scored on the first play of the second half to give the 010s a stunning 13-7 lead. Amsterdam, noticeably shaken, went up 14-13 and added another touchdown to take a 21-13 lead heading into the final quarter.

At that stage, the Cru scored again and after a failed Trojans fourth down in their own territory added a late touchdown with two minutes left to make the final score 33-13.

In a fitting gesture, the game’s MVP award did not go to a single player but to the entire Crusaders offensive line who put on a display of blocking excellence, especially in the second half.

Amsterdam Crusaders HC Winton Ronde coaching his final game Photo: Bob de Calonne

The game marked the end of an era and the 35 year playing and coaching career of Ronde, one of the founding fathers of not only the Crusaders, but of American football in the Netherlands.

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