The Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks got their first ‘W’ of the season as they defeated the Petah Tikva Troopers 28-22 in overtime on Friday morning. Last Thursday night the Judean Rebels soundly defeated the short-handed Ramat HaSharon Hammers 38-6, and on Saturday night the Jerusalem ‘Big Blue’ Lions coasted to a 40-6 triumph over the Be’er Sheva Black Swarm.
Mazkeret Batya never led during regulation before grabbing victory on Friday.
In the first quarter, David Arshavsky and the Troopers went on an 11-play drive which ended with a touchdown pass from Arshavsky to Alon Hartanu, and converted by running back Omer Tirosh. Mazkeret Batya went on a 10-play drive of their own that took the game into the second quarter, and it ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ido Eisikovits to Tim Plotkin to pull within 8-6.
Arshavksy went right back to Hartanu for a 64-yard scoring pass. Just before the break Eisikovits found Rotem Oz for a 40-yard score to tie the game at 14.
In the third quarter, the Troopers marched down the field behind some tough running by running back Chris Davis, who punched the ball in from 14 yards out for a 22-14 lead. With fewer than five minutes to go in the game, Eisikovits marched his troops 76 yards down the field, including a 40-yard pass to Oz, before punching in a touchdown from 2 yards out himself and finding Oz for the tying 2-point conversion to knot the game at 22-all.
The Troopers had a chance to win the game in regulation, but breakups by Solomon Mekonen and Lior Agami sent the game into overtime.
The Troopers won the toss and elected to go on offense first, but after three successful Davis runs they went to the air and Arshavsky’s fourth-down pass was broken up by Silverbacks’ linebacker Tomer Hazan. The ‘Backs went on offense and a critical pass interference penalty against the Troopers’ Erez Maman set the guests up in prime position and Eiskovits pounded in the winning score himself, using his 220-pound frame to get the ball over the goal-line for the win.
Eisikovits finished 14/30 for 191 yards, 2 scores and 2 picks as well as two touchdowns on the ground. Oz caught 5 balls for 102 yards and a score. Mekonen led the team with 9 tackles and a breakup.
For the Troopers, Arshavsky finished 11/32 for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hartanu caught 3 passes for 92 yards and both scores.
Rebels, Lions rout
Ramat HaSharon came to Ma’ale Adumim with a severely depleted squad and were no match for the winners of last year’s championship, despite a mediocre game by Rebels’ quarterback Chaim Schiff.
The Rebels ran off the first 32 points of the game before the Hammers even got on the board with a perfect touchdown throw from Adi Hakami to Nachi Brodt.
Schiff went 12/20 for 143 yards, a touchdown and two picks. Chaim Aaron caught 3 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown, adding 19 yards and a score on the ground. Dani Eastman had 2 rushes for 19 yards and 2 TDs, accounting for the Rebels’ first two scores. Jeremiah Jelski lea the defense with 10 tackles, while Uria Loberbom added 7 and half a sack.
Hakami finished 12/29 for 117 yards a TD and 3 picks, clearly missing his favorite target, Jonathan Curran. Brodt caught 2 passes for 32 yards and a score, and veteran Tal Greenblat had 10 carries for 34 yards. Rosenblum led the Hammer defense with 9 tackles, 2 TFLs and a pick.
In similar fashion to the Rebels, the visiting Lions had no trouble at all with the Black Swarm, who could not get anything going on offense, totaling just 33 total net yards.
The Swarm’s only touchdown came on defense when a high snap went over Lions quarterback Binyamin Schultz’s head and Koren Lottan recovered in the end zone to make it 14-6 Jerusalem. However, the Lions scored the final 26 points of the game to put it away easily.
For the Lions, Schultz completed 17/27 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown. Abell caught 6 passes for 97 yards and a score, as well as rushing 5 times for 79 yards and two scores. Goldstein added 30 yards and a score on the ground, adding 3 catches for 55 yards. Charnowitz paced the defense with 6 tackles, a pick and a breakup.
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