Week 5 of the IFL regular season witnessed two match-ups with playoff implications, and three single-game records set. The Jerusalem ‘Big Blue’ Lions rolled over the Rehovot Silverbacks 72-20, the Haifa Underdogs outlasted the Jerusalem Kings in a heavy defensive battle 19-16 and the Ramat HaSharon Hammers overwhelmed the Petah Tikva Troopers 56-24.
Missing starting QB Chaim Schiff, backup QB Grant Rumley teamed up with a strong Lions ground attack as the host Lions handed the visiting Silverbacks their second straight defeat at Kraft Family Stadium. Big Blue raced to a 44-12 halftime lead and never looked back.
Rumley finished 3/7 for 64 yards and 2 TDs, and added one on the ground. Tiran Koren finished with 3 TDs and 12 yards on 3 carries, and Yonah Mishaan finished with 84 yards and a pair of TDs. Ori Refaelowitz led the Big Blue defense with 5 solo tackles to go along with a sack and forced-fumble. Cooper was his usual self, with 4 tackles (2 for losses), 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble and an interception.
Ido Eisikovits finished a dismal 8/38 passing for 129 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions, while Rotem Oz finished with 3 catches for 61 yards and a TD. Denis Levin led the Silverback rushers with 30 yards on the ground. Kosta Stoliyarsky finished with 14 tackles, starting for absent linebacker Dan Tamir, and Tomer Hazan finished with 9 tackles and 2 sacks.
Haifa 19, Jerusalem 16
A fierce battle ensued in Kiryat Yam as the Jerusalem Kings traveled north to face the Haifa Underdogs in a match-up that most likely will have serious playoff implications, and in which the hosts escaped with a narrow 19-16 victory.
Haifa headed into the fourth quarter with a 13-8 lead. After a pair of turnovers on downs, the Kings’ Zack Summy was intercepted by Amit Halberthal at mid-field, which set up Harrison Duke-Fearnley’s winding-and-weaving 11 yard score that put Haifa up 19-8 with 4 minutes to play. The Kings wouldn’t say die and drove the field: Zack Summy took in a keeper with 1:11 to play and his team down 3. The Kings couldn’t convert the on-side kick, but were almost able to get the ball back with a chance for a Hail Mary. Matt Kauffman converted a tough first-down (which needed a measurement), and that was the ballgame.
Kauffman was 13/22 for 98 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception, plus another on the ground, and Duke-Fearnley led the Underdogs with 38 yards rushing. Leon Gikher and Oren Srulevich led the way for the Haifa defense, each finishing with 6 tackles and a sack, while Aviv Kruvi had 2 interceptions.
Summy finished 8/22 for 94 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions and also added a rushing TD. Ofir Levi had 4 catches for 62 yards and a TD. Ami Notis and Russ McKraken both had monster games for the purple defense, each finishing with 13 tackles and a sack. Notis has 3 TFLs, a break-up and a punt block, while McKraken added 4.5 TFLs and a forced fumble.
Ramat Hasharon 56, Petah Tivka 24
The Ramat HaSharon Hammers overwhelmed the Petah Tikva Troopers, despite record-setting nights from PT QB Garrett Moore (who set new single-game records with 51 pass attempts and 306 yards) and WR Bar Rudich, who had a new single-game record 190 receiving yards. The Troopers came into the game thinking they would prove themselves among the IFL elite, but came away empty-handed.
By halftime, the score was 28-8 in the Hammers’ favor en route to the romp.
Jonathan Curran went 3/8 for 65 yards, a TD and 2 INTs, 47 yards and 3 TDs on the ground and another 38 yards receiving. Rosenblum had 2 catches for 85 yards and 2 TDs, plus 18 yards rushing. Kyle Legant lead the defensive charge with 6 solo tackles, while Amir Balva, Netanel Meron and Gilad Shoham each chipped in with 4 tackles and a sack apiece.
Moore finished 23/51 for 306 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs, becoming the first IFL player to eclipse the 300-yard mark. Rudich hauled in 10 passes for 190 yards and 2 TDs, and Argouan caught 6-53-1. Maiky Murphy led the Troopers with 9 tackles and Bernet had 6 and a pick.