Football / IFL: Big Blue Crush Silverbacks

Betzalel Friedman
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Football.Credit: Vova Jandarmov
Betzalel Friedman

The Jerusalem Big Blue Lions crushed the Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks 42-6, while host Be’er Sheva rallied past Petah Tikva 22-14 this past weekend in Israel Football League action.

The Lions’ Jerome Wojtalik opened up the scoring with a 55-yard pick-6 off of Silverbacks QB Ido Eisikovits to put Jerusalem up 8-0 towards the end of the first quarter. David Abell ran in another score for the Lions.

A 33-yard run by the ‘Backs Tom Otmy put them at the 1-yard line but they had to settle for a Tomer Hazan 32-yard field goal, which gave Mazkeret Batya their first points of the season.

Abell threw two straight passes to Yoni Rosenbaum, the second being a 26-yard TD pass to make it 20-3. Another Mazkeret Batya field goal made the halftime score 20-6 in Jerusalem’s favor.

In the second half, Abell earned his second rushing TD of the night, while in the fourth quarter he completed a 20-yard TD pass to Shmuel Halpern to put the Lions up 34-6. Abell found Wolasky for a 7-yard score, the final one of the game. 

Abell passed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, adding 67 yards and two scores on the ground. Wolasky finished with 15 carries for 115 yards and added two catches for 23 yards and a score. Rosenbaum had two receptions for 46 yards and a score. Neria Granevich led the defense with nine tackles and a sack.

Swarm 22, Troopers 14

The Troopers got off to a hot start on Saturday night down south, as David Arshavsky found Alon Hartanu for a nice 38-yard TD pass to go ahead 6-0 after the opening drive.

Later on, Be’er Sheva RB Yuval Tzvi lost a fumble, which was recovered by the Troopers’ Chris Davis. Arshavsky then connected with Ala Shalabny for a 30-yard score on 4th-and-11 at the start of the second quarter to give the Troopers a 14-0 lead.

Swarm QB Dani Sterer finally got Be’er Sheva on the board when he found rookie WR Matanel Katz with a 19-yard TD pass with four minutes to go in the half to close the gap to 14-8. Poor play on the kickoff return set the Troopers back on their own 2-yard line. Koren Lottan subsequently sacked Arshavsky in the end zone for a safety.

Be’er Sheva put together a drive on its next possession that ended with Tzvi’s 12-yard scoring run with 37 seconds to go in the half, completing a 3-score, 16-point swing for the hosts in just over three minutes.

With fewer than six minutes to go, Roi Artzi picked Arshavksy off for the second time in the half, returning the ball to the Trooper 6-yard line. Sterer immediately found Katz for a 22-14 Be’er Sheva lead that held the rest of the way. 

Sterer went 10/19 for 112 yards and two scores, with Katz catching eight passes for 95 yards and both scores. Tzvi had 16 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Edi Peru led the defense with eight tackles and a sack

Arshavsky finished 11/30 for 131 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. Hartanu caught three passes for 73 yards and a score, while Shalabny had five receptions for 60 yards and a score. Davis carried the ball seven times for 49 yards.