Israel Football: Hammers Start Season With Nail-biting Win Over Swarm

Season 12 of Kraft Family IFL gets underway with full four-game slate

Two Israeli American football teams, the Pioneers and the Underdogs, playing in the northern Israeli town of Abu Snan.
Sleeman Amer

Saturday night saw the closest contest of the weekend, as the Ramat Hasharon Hammers defeated the Be’er Sheva Black Swarm in a shoot-out, 48-37. Erez Maman threw for four TDs, and Danel Mitiyakov rushed for 223 yards and three scores for the victorious Hammers.

The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions opened their title defense with a 46-0 shellacking of the flat Tel Aviv Pioneers, thought to be a potential contender this year. Tel Aviv will have to make adjustments after giving up 261 receiving yards (an IFL single-game record) to A.B. Reznick, and not being able to get on the scoreboard at all, despite QB Ben Landon’s best efforts.

On Friday, the Petah Tikva Troopers trounced the Judean Rebels 58-12 behind a strong passing game. Danny Mikhailov caught five touchdowns from Avrami Farkas, and the green defense stifled the orangemen at the line of scrimmage, allowing a grand total of one net yard rushing.

Also on Friday, the Haifa Underdogs soundly defeated the Mazkeret Batya SIlverbacks, 36-6. Haifa enjoyed the fruit of their labor, as former youth club running back Ofek Essenfeld, strong safety Shahar Adi and kicker/defensive end Yahav Siso played big roles in the win.