Football / IFL |

Troopers Win Big Over Pioneers

Betzalel Friedman
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Betzalel Friedman

With all eight Kraft Family IFL teams in play over the weekend, there was plenty of hard-hitting action to go around. The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions easily dismantled the Ramat Hasharon Hammers 52-9, and the Petah Tikva Troopers had their way in a big 60-30 win over the Tel Aviv Pioneers. On Saturday night, the Haifa Underdogs beat the Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks 20-7, while the Judean Rebels held off the Be’er Sheva Black Swarm 24-8.

The Hammers actually got on board first when Gal Mesika kicked an IFL record 43-yard field goal to give the guests an early 3-0 lead, but a 58-yard screen catch-and-run by Jerome Wojtalik set the Lions up for a David Abell QB keeper touchdown and a lead It would never relinquish.

The Lions built up a 28-9 halftime lead on a pair of touchdown runs by Wojtalik and another keeper by Abell.

The Hammers went on a 14-play, 7-minute drive which ended on a touchdown run by QB Jordan Curran late in the second quarter for its lone touchdown.

The Lions poured it on in the second half, as Abell found Eli Gurwitz for a score, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Mordy Charnowitz and a keeper by Abell right before the end of the third quarter racked up three touchdowns.

Abell completed 12/22 for 260 yards and a score, adding 21 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Wojtalik had 4-25-2 rushing as well as catching four passes for 113 yards. Charnowitz had 10 tackles as well as a fumble recovery touchdown.

Curran completed 5/12 passes for 70 yards, adding 20 yards and a score on the ground. Amit Twig had five tackles, a breakup and a forced fumble for the Hammers. The Troopers had an even bigger night on offense than the Lions, doubling up the Pioneers 60-30.

Petah Tikva jumped out to a 14-0 lead after Dani Eastman took a pitch on the Troopers’ very first offensive play and was sprung by his blockers for a 76-yard touchdown run, and Avrami Farkas found Danny Mikailov for a 55-yard catch-and-run score. IFL rushing leader Yuval Fenta ran 27 yards for a Tel Aviv TD (14-6), but that was as close as Tel Aviv would get.

Petah Tikva tallied three more touchdowns in the first half, as Eastman passed to Farkas for a touchdown, Eastman ran in another score with under two minutes to play in the half, and he returned a punt 26 yards, setting up a TD pass from Farkas to Mikhailov right before the half for a 38-6 lead.

Mikhailov took a reverse 36 yards to the house to start off the second half (44-6) and Steve Markoe found Simmonds for a 27-yard score to make it 44-14. Eastman answered immediately with a 52-yard scoring run (52-14) and Fenta responded with two straight rushing touchdowns to make it 52-30 just before the end of the third quarter. Farkas found Reiz for a 9-yard TD to close out the scoring.

Farkas completed 19/24 passes for 289 yards and three scores, and added a touchdown catch. Eastman rushed nine times for 167 yards and three scores, adding a passing TD. Mikhailov caught 6-146-2 and Reiz caught 9-117-1. Eastman also racked up 20 tackles for the second time this season.

Markoe completed 21/39 passes for 160 yards and a score. Fenta rushed 24 times for 224 yards (4th-highest all-time) and three scores. Simmonds caught 4-53-1. Charles Perez had five tackles for the Pioneers defense.

Haifa Underdogs have their day

Haifa QB Matt Kauffman completed 12/23 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, adding another touchdown on the ground en route to a 20-7 victory over Mazkeret Batya.

Kaufmann led his team on a 13-play, seven-and-a-half minute drive that ended with his keeper to put the visiting Underdogs up 8-0, and in the second quarter found TE Amitai Chubinsky for a ten-yard TD, 14-0.

The final game on the weekend’s slate saw the Judean Rebels down the Be’er Sheva Black Swarm 24-8.