Maranatha has also played local teams in Juvinac, France in 1995, North Ireland in 1998 but this was the first National team played in Crusader history.
The game also marked the first international competition in the history of Israel, in the sport of American football and the first 11-man football game for the Blue and White squad.
Maranatha waited no longer than the first Blue and White turnover to convert on their first play of the game, a 25-yard pass from quarterback Phil Littrell (Valrico, Fla.) to Josiah Brendemeuhl (Mishicot, Wis.).
The Israeli squad scored in the second quarter to trail just 7-6, but Drew DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) and Jordan Dersch (Prattville, Ala.) each scored touchdowns and Shane Saxon’s safety gave MBBC a 23-6 halftime lead.
The second half was all Maranatha, as all 21 players received significant playing time in front of 500 fans.
The post-game included media interviews with many players and coaches, as well as opportunity to sing “Victory in Jesus.” The interviews found their way into this Washington Post article.
Maranatha alumnus Jay Armstead was instrumental in scheduling the game, having coached in both the IFL and the Israeli High School League. He was an assistant coach for the Israeli Blue and White Team. Jay and his wife Nancy were gracious hosts to the Crusaders throughout the week.
Coach Phil Price remarked, “We prayed for a long time prior to this event that God would glorify Himself through this and that He would use us to be a light for Him. Thank you to everyone for their prayer and financial support!”