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Late Saturday night at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem, Heritage Affinity AFI league players and officials waited impatiently for the final whistle to be blown so a draw for the first round of the Holyland Bowl playoffs could be held.
Cleveland Friends, who capped an undefeated second round with a 35-20 victory over Holy Bagel on Friday, was drawn to face Klein Management, a 33-26 winner over Fairmont Funding. Klein and Seidemann & Mermelstein both finished the second round with two wins and a tie in their game against each other. Seidemann, which beat Olive 40-12 Saturday night, won the division on point differential, and was drawn to face Holy Bagel in the first round of the Holyland Bowl playoffs.
Big Blue routed D & D Sugar 59-6 late Saturday night, while Uncle Bob's Boys had a slightly more difficult 20-6 victory over Yesodei.org to grab second place in the division. Big Blue, the division winner, will face bitter rival Jump Gym this weekend and second-place Uncle Bob's Boys' opponent will be Pallorium.
Friday teams The Out-of-Towners and Misha'an Plumbers, which had already wrapped up their divisions and had byes in Week 13, were drawn against Croton Watches and D & D Marketing, respectively. Croton defeated Ziontours/Internet Cafe 44-13 on Saturday to clinch second place in its division.
With first place in the division at stake, CardiaCare Rehab defeated D & D Marketing 26-20. CardiaCare will face Lobos in the first playoff round.
Tov Pizza, which finished the second round undefeated after a 32-18 victory over Pizzeria Efrat, is looking at a matchup against World Class Travel. World Class Travel crushed Oma's 32-0 on Friday to clinch second place in their division.
The third- and fourth-place teams in each upper-tier division were drawn into a playoff bracket that leads to the Terem Bowl in memory of Dr. David Applebaum.
Other results from Week 13 of the Heritage Affinity AFI men's contact league: Meridian Capital 38, Kesher 14; METV 24, Sack Exchange 0 (forfeit); Israel 21C 19, Tivuch Shelly 18; Waxman Warriors 40, Norman's 0; Tivuch Shelly 26, Cafe Rimon 6; TLC Communications 24, Mass Mutual 0 (forfeit); Travaglini 28, Cafe Net 12; Jerry's Kids 38, One Hour Cellular 12; Boston Friends 45, Forefingers 33; Derech Etz Chaim 25, Cobras 12; Canaan Studio 33, Mug Club 26.
Diamonds.com shock Ziontours in women's league
In the final week of the Fieldturf Women's American Football in Israel regular season, the ladies from Diamonds.com clinched fifth place with a 12-0 upset shutout of second-place Ziontours. With the playoffs set to begin on Wednesday, January 25, Diamonds.com seems to be peaking at just the right time. Playoff brackets will be announced late Tuesday night, January 24, following the official end of the regular season.
Also this week, league commissioner Yonah Misha'an announced that the Fieldturf WAFI All-Star game will take place on Wednesday night, February 8, at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. Each team will nominate one representative (while the top two seeds will send three players) to participate in what promises to be an exciting night of women's American football.
Other results from week nine of the Fieldturf WAFI: Cafe Rimon 26, Pueblo Nuevo Productions 12; Misha'an Plumbers 33, Jump Gym 6.
Fieldturf WAFI standings through week nine (wins-losses-ties): Big Blue (8-0-0); Ziontours (7-2-0); Misha'an Plumbers (6-2-1); Cafe Rimon (6-3-0); Diamonds.com (4-3-2); Jump Gym (4-5-0); Cincinnati Friends (3-4-1); Eden's Eagles (2-6-0); Boston Friends/Havila (1-7-0); Pueblo Nuevo Productions (0-9-0). Note: Two week nine make-up games will be played on Tuesday night, January 24.
Pizza Sababa/Superdeal & Thunderbolts to meet in high school final
The top two seeds in the High School American Football in Israel league will square off in the championship game on Tuesday night, January 31, at 7 p.m. at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem.
While the second-seeded Thunderbolts cruised to a 62-7 victory, thus ending the Dominators' "Cinderella" playoff run last week, the top-seeded Pizza Sababa/Superdeal squad needed overtime to defeat the Chasmo Jaguars 18-12. Chanan Kupietzky was the hero, catching the winning touchdown in the extra period.
Also last week it was announced that due to overwhelming demand, a spring HSAFI league is in the works, with games scheduled to start in early March. For more information, contact HSAFI League Commissioner Josh Hasten via e-mail, email@example.com.
For more information on American Football in Israel, visit www.israelfootball.net, or contact Jay L. Abramoff by e-mail, jay@israelfootball, or at 054-440-2659 (+972-54-440-2659 from outside Israel).