Amsterdam downs Limburg to capture BNL title

The Amsterdam Crusaders found themselves locked in an intense battle with the hometown Limburg Shotguns in the BNL championship game this past weekend. Down 13-6 halfway through the second quarter, the Crusaders utilized their high-powered offense to give themselves a comfortable 28-13 lead going into the half. Despite the Shotguns’ best efforts in the second half, the Crusaders held on to beat Limburg 38-26 and capture the first ever BNL title.

Although the Crusaders had beaten the Shotguns in their last matchup, this determined Limburgsquad, fueled by their large home crowd, would not give up easily. Some early offensive struggles for Amsterdam allowed Shotguns running back Jaycen Taylor to put his team up 6-0. The Crusaders’ offense wouldn’t be suppressed for long, a rainbow pass from QB Jasper Nijland and a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone by wide receiver Anton Chereminskiy gave them a 7-6 lead.

An excellent kick return from the Shotguns gave way for Jaycen Taylor to punch in his second score of the game and put Limburg ahead 13-7. The fans wouldn’t have to wait long for a response as a sensational grab along the sideline by Chereminskiy opened the door for fellow wideout Sem Haan to grab the second touchdown pass of the day for Amsterdam.

Then, the Shotguns’ offense began to falter in the second quarter, and the momentum shifted in favor of the Crusaders’ offense who kicked into another gear. Haan broke outside sharply and Nijland was able to hit him in stride for Haan’s second touchdown of the game. Soon after, Chereminskiy made a physical play on a weighted ball over the middle to give Amsterdam a solid 28-13 lead going into the half. While the Shotguns lacked explosiveness at the start of the third quarter throughout this year, they were more than prepared to stage a comeback in this game. Quarterback Bram Baeté took matters into his own hands with a 50-yard-run that brought them back within one score as they headed into the fourth and final quarter trailing 28-20.

The Shotguns’ defense made a crucial stand deep within their own territory to limit the powerful Amsterdam offense to a field goal on their first drive of the fourth quarter making the score 31-20. Limburg went back to their ground game, and Jaycen Taylor pushed through the Crusaders’ end zone once again to lower their deficit to only five points at 31-26. The Crusaders’ offense ate up time with a long drive, but the Shotguns’ defense stood tall with another crucial stop. Nevertheless, the Shotguns were unable to get it going on the offensive
end on the ensuing drive and were forced to give the ball back to the Crusaders. Amsterdamrunning back Berto Stuijt then iced the game for his team with a touchdown that would put them out of reach.

Through a physical match that tested them on both sides of the ball, Amsterdam was able to down the Shotguns and earn their title as the inaugural champions of the BNL.