Israel: Stormy weather helps 3 teams pitch shutouts

It was a wet, windy and wacky weekend of football in the Kraft Family Israel Football League as all three visiting teams came away with shutouts. On Friday, the Judean Rebels beat the Mazkeret Batya ‘Rose Valley Crossfit’ Silverbacks 8-0. and the Tel Aviv Pioneers shut out the Haifa ‘Nemo’s’ Underdogs 18-0. On Saturday night, the defending champion Jerusalem ‘Big Blue’ Lions dominated the Beersheva Black Swarm 45-0.

Tel Aviv Pioneers 18 – Haifa ‘Nemo’s’ Underdogs 0

Photo: Sleeman Amer

The wet and muddy conditions helped determine the course of the game in Abu Snan. The Underdogs’ Rudy Rattner recovered an early Pioneers fumble but Harrison Duke-Fearnley missed a field goal. The Pioneers took advantage of not having rain in the first quarter and scored on a long touchdown pass from Omri Mizrachi to Nimrod Posner, 6-0.

Haifa punted the ball and Tel Aviv turned the ball over on downs. On Haifa’s second play of the drive, Nadav Eliraz intercepted a Shon Kibutzany pass, fumbled the ball at the 2-yard line, and Amit Militanu recovered the ball in the end-zone for another TA score, 12-0. Another Haifa punt lead to a long Yuval Fenta touchdown run, 18-0 before the end of the first quarter. The rain started picking up and the pace of the game slowed down. Bad snaps, slippery footballs and short runs made up the rest of the game, and the Pioneers came away with their 3rd win in a row after starting the season with three straight losses.

Photo: Sleeman Amer

Both teams have a week off before home games next week. The Underdogs host the Troopers next Friday morning and the Pioneers host the Silverbacks next Saturday night

Judean Rebels 8 – Mazkeret Batya ‘Rose Valley Crossfit’ Silverbacks 0

It was a blustery day in Mazkeret Batya and the teams had to adjust their game-plans accordingly. The Rebels, generally a pass-first team, started their first drive heading into the wind with 7 straight runs, capping the drive off with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Yehuda Mendlowitz to Ikey Bodner, 8-0. Mazkeret QB Ido Eisikovits had his first pass attempt broken up by Rafi Friedman and intercepted by Chesky Tomor, but Aviram Johnson tackled Avi Landesman for a loss on 4th down. The teams exchanged punts, and the wind affected both- carrying a ‘Backs punt deep and stopping the Rebels’ punt mid-flight. The teams exchanged turnovers-on-downs, and Daniel Halpert broke up Eisikovits’s 4th-down pass. On the last play of the half, Shiko Zano picked off Mendlowitz’s pass, but was tackled around midfield.

The ‘Backs started the half off with a 10-play drive, but left empty-handed after a bad snap on 4th-down. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Mendlowitz was sacked on 4th-down by Vlad Patrati. The Silverbacks punted, but a goal-line stand gave them the ball back with 1:40 to play. They were able to convert on 3rd-and-long (Eisikovits to Samuely) but ultimately came up short.

Individual performances


Mendlowitz completed 10/16 passes for 95 yards, a score and a pick, adding 34 yards on the ground. Landesman had 10 carries for 49 yards and Bodner caught 4-36-1. Tomor had 6 tackles, a pick and a breakup, Uria Loberbom added 6 and Avraham Fisgus had 4, a sack, and a forced fumble.


Eisikovits completed 4/15 passes for 50 yards and a pick. Ohad Samuely lead the team in rushing yards (38) and receiving yards (23). Johnson lead the defense with 11 tackles and 2 TFL. Patrati had 7, a sack and a forced fumble and Zano had 6, 1 TFL and a pick.

The Silverbacks host the Black Swarm on Friday, with both teams looking for their 2nd win of the season. The Rebels have a week off before a Jerusalem showdown with the Lions, in a match-up of the top two teams in the IFL standings.

Jerusalem ‘Big Blue’ Lions 45 – Beersheva Black Swarm 0

Photo: Daniella Dolgin

David Abell completed a touchdown pass to Misha Belov 2 minutes into the game (8-0) and Simcha Fuchs intercepted a Matanel Katz pass, setting up an Abell touchdown pass to Ezzi Jaski, 16-0. Beersheva went 3-and-out before Abell and Belov connected for another TD, 22-0. Beersheva went 3-and-out, and Binyamin Schultz hit a 21-yard field goal attempt, 25-0. Beersheva got their first 1st-down of the night on a run by Katz, but ended up punting anyway. Amit Rahman blocked a Schultz field goal attempt as the first half expired.

Alex Bar came in at QB for the Swarm and Zevi Kornitzer picked off his second attempt. Rahman blocked another Schultz field goal attempt and the teams exchanged punts. Beersheva punted again and Moshe Shear threw a TD pass David Abell, 31-0. The Swarm turned the ball over on downs, and Shear threw a TD pass to Jaski with just over 7 minutes left in the game, 39-0.A bad snap on 4th down gave the ball back to the Lions and Shear threw a touchdown pass to Effi Mishaan before time expired, 45-0.

Photo: Daniella Dolgin

Individual performances


Abell completed 11/22 for 221 yards and 3 scores, though he was plagued by many drops by his receivers. In his relief, Shear completed 9/15 for 114 and 3. Jaski caught 6-146-2 and Belov caught 2-57-2. Leib Sklar had 4 tackles and 2 TFL and Fuchs had 2, a TFL, a pick and a break-up.

Black Swarm

Katz and Bar combined to completed 4/15 passes, with 2 completions and 1 pick apiece, for a whopping 1 yard, as the Lions held the Swarm as a team to 15 net yards. Michael Witman lead the defense with 7 tackles, 3 TFL and 2 sacks, Sandro Kalandadze had 5 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and Rahman added 5 tackles to his 2 FG blocks.

The Lions travel to Petah Tikva on Thursday night to play the Troopers and the Swarm head to Mazkeret Batya on Friday morning to play the Silverbacks.