The Amsterdam Crusaders successfully defended their BNL (Benelux American Football League) title in BNL Bowl II by defeating the Brussels Black Angels with a score of 17-7. The game took place this past weekend and showcased a strong defensive performance by the Crusaders.
During the regular season, the two teams had split their series, with Brussels winning the first game 17-14, and Amsterdam getting revenge in the final regular season match with a 24-19 victory. In the semifinals, the Crusaders staged a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Limburg Shotguns 28-20.
The first half of the championship game was filled with mistakes and nervous play from both teams, resulting in a lack of momentum. The defenses dominated the first two quarters, and the score remained low. However, near the end of the second quarter, Amsterdam’s quarterback, Melvin Maasdamme, led his team on an impressive drive from their own 14-yard line to the Brussels five-yard line. This drive included a 38-yard pass to wide receiver Younes Kwyasse. Although the drive stalled, Amsterdam’s kicker, Hasan Ozan Al, successfully kicked a 22-yard field goal, giving the Crusaders a 3-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Brussels offense came alive. On their second play, quarterback Tomasz Firszt connected with wide receiver Laurent Bogaerst for a 30-yard gain, advancing them to the Amsterdam 30-yard line. Despite the drive stalling, Brussels struck again on their next possession when Firszt found tight end Alexandre Delmotte in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Black Angels a 7-3 lead.
However, despite dominating the third quarter, the Black Angels were unable to score again due to penalties and mistakes that hindered their progress.
In the fourth quarter, with Amsterdam trailing 7-3, the Crusaders’ offense rallied. Led by running back Berto Stuijt, they made significant progress into Brussels’ territory. Maasdamme guided his team to the Brussels 15-yard line and then connected with Olivier Lugier in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, putting Amsterdam ahead 10-7 late in the game. On their following drive, with less than two minutes remaining, Stuijt sealed the victory with a 35-yard touchdown run.
The win was particularly satisfying for the Amsterdam Crusaders, as they had to rally late in the game for the second time in a row to secure the championship.