Beersheba Black Swarm’s Almog Kriel vs Haifa Underdogs.
(photo credit: GAD FOGIEL/COURTESY)
On a wet, cold and windy Friday afternoon, two of the Israel Football League’s top, and original, teams met in a game dominated by defenses and running games, with the Tel Aviv Pioneers prevailing 14-6 over the Haifa Underdogs in overtime.
The Underdogs (4-2) got on the board first with an interception returned for a touchdown by defensive back Amit Benvenisti, and the Pioneers (5-1) only tied the game midway through the fourth quarter on a beautiful, back-of-the-endzone catch by Travis Mascitelli.
The game went into overtime (NCAA rules), and the Pioneers scored on a two-yard run by Ari Wilen. Haifa got the ball to try and tie the game, but Or Shalom intercepted Matt Kauffman’s pass to seal the victory for his club.
Wilen lead the visitors with 89 yards and a TD on the ground, as they hepled overcome a monster game by Underdogs’ rookie defensive end Rudi Rattner, who had 17 tackles, including 8 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks In another cold and wet affair, the Beersheba Black Swarm blanked the Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks 8-0, getting two scores in the fourth and final frame.
After a sloppy game in which neither offense got anything going – the teams combined for just 13 yards passing – the Swarm (3-3) came up with a safety and a rushing TD by rookie Almog Kriel to come away with the victory, while sending the Silverbacks to 1-5.
The IFL will go on a league-wide bye week, before resuming the playoff hunt next week.