In Israeli Football, Underdogs, Black Swarm and Pioneers Win Big

Haifa, Be'er Sheva and Tel Aviv all score more than 30 points and pick off passes.

Betzalel Friedman
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The Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks against the Petah Tikva Troopers in October. In separate games this round, both teams lost.
The Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks against the Petah Tikva Troopers in October. In separate games this round, both teams lost.Credit: Vova Jandarmov
Betzalel Friedman

Haifa, Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv all churned out lopsided victories this past week in Israel Football League action, with the winners all scoring at least 30 points.

The Haifa “Nemo’s” Underdogs routed the host Petah Tikva “Glanelm” Troopers 36-14, while Be’er Sheva “Travel Leaders” Black Swarm erased an early deficit to top the Jerusalem “Sarel Tours” Kings 30-12. Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv “Hotel Gilgal” Pioneers dominated the Mazkeret Batya “RC Cola” Silverbacks 36-8.

Haifa rode down to the beautiful practice field at Petah Tikva’s Hamoshava Stadium and rode back home after a romp likely to pay dividends come playoff time. Matt Kaufman threw for 139 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers, overshadowing his one interception. Rookie defensive end Rudi Rattner recorded four sacks and two forced fumbles.

For the Troopers, E.J. Glatt led with 140 passing yards and two touchdown passes, both to Dvir Argouan. But he threw three interceptions.

The Black Swarm and Kings squared off with both clubs looking for their first victory of the season. The Swarm got defensive scores from Shlomi Shohat, who had a pick-six as time expired in the first half, and from Nitzan Dagan, who recovered a fumble for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

The Kings were the beneficiary of a great defensive performance by Shlomo Lazar, who recorded 10 tackles and two sacks.

The Pioneers are not yet clicking on all cylinders, but that didn’t stop them against the Silverbacks. Isaac Saslavsky scored two rushing touchdowns, while Adi Hakami threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns. The Pioneers also enjoyed a pick-six by Elan Neiger.

The Silverbacks’ lone score came on a touchdown pass from Ido Eisikovits to Joe Glickman.

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