Holland’s Tulip Bowl XXXII will pit the Amsterdam Crusaders, who have won the Dutch title 17 times appearing in the final 26 times, against the 010 Trojans from Rotterdam who are making their first ever appearance in the game.
Talk about contrasts.
The Crusaders enter this game with the league’s leading quarterback in Allan Bridgford. Bridgford, who joined the team midway through the season, threw for 1,713 yards 29 touchdowns while rushing for another six touchdowns in seven games in both Dutch and European Football League action.
The Crusaders had assembled an impressive football team before his arrival and the addition of offensive coordinator Alex Cabasso. Both Bridgford and Cabasso transferred from the Reus Imperials in Spain.
The Crusaders rushing attack also led the league as running back Sean Richard had 1,253 rushing and 13 touchdown to go along with 14 catches for 153 yards and another two touchdowns.
In fact, Amsterdam topped the league in both offense and defense scoring 47 points a game while giving up just six.
And yet the Trojans battled their way through to the final. While Amsterdam overwhelmed the Hilversum Hurricanes in one semifinal, the Trojans eked out a 17-14 win over perennial top team the Alphen Eagles. Talk about a David and Goliath scenario. Nevertheless, even though they cannot match the firepower of the Crusaders, they have weapons.
Running back Kevin Wesseling is a key to the Trojans attack. He has speed. He hurt the Crusaders in the final game between the two clubs scoring a 95 yard touchdown.
The Trojans weapon is surprise. As huge underdogs, they will play this game with no pressure. Amsterdam knows full well they are expected to win so if 010 can keep the game close early on, they could surprise.