Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks in IFL..
(photo credit: TOM NUDELMAN/COURTESY)
Many Kraft Family Israel Football League fans expected the two weekend games to be narrow contests, but neither was close at all. On Thursday night, the Jerusalem Lions blew out an injury-depleted Petah Tikva Troopers’ squad, notching their third straight shut-out, 46-0. On Friday, Mazkeret Batya and Beersheba faced off in the IFL’s southern rivalry game, and the Silverbacks registered the franchise’s first-ever blowout win, defeating the Swarm handily in a 40-6 rout.
The Lions’ David Abell completed 7-of-12 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns, with all the TDs to Ezzy Jaski, who caught six passes for 137. Jerusalem running back Jerome Wojtalik had seven carries for 60 yards and three scores.
Leib Sklar was dominant on defense for Jerusalem with nine tackles and three sacks of Petah Tikva quarterback Gideon Reiz.
The Lions will face off on Thursday with the Judean Rebels in a Jerusalem derby at the top of the standings, while the Troopers head north to play the Haifa Underdogs in a middle-of-the-pack matchup.
For Mazkeret Batya, QB Ido Eisikovits completed 8-of-14 passes for 128 yards and three scores, while Ohad Samuely rushed 19 times for 122 yards and a pair of TDs.
The Silverbacks travel to Tel Aviv on Saturday night to play the Pioneers and the Swarm have a week off to regroup before a pivotal home-and-away series against the Underdogs.
The Lions (6-0) and Rebels (5-1) are firmly in the driver’s seat towards the top two playoff seeds, though the Rebels do not have an easy schedule remaining at all (Lions, Troopers, Pioneers, Underdogs). The Pioneers (3-3) look to have shaken off the early- season woes, though they still have two remaining games with the Lions in addition to the Rebels and Silverbacks (2-4).
Haifa (2-4) has the big game against the Troopers (2-4) this week, then a home-and-away series against the Black Swarm (1-5) before wrapping up against the Rebels.
The last game of the season, between the Silverbacks and Black Swarm, could very likely determine which of those teams makes the playoffs, barring any major surprises before then.