The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions [L] and the Petah Tikva Troopers [R] will face off in Israel Bowl XII on Friday to determine the 2019 champion of the Kraft Family Israel Football League..
(photo credit: DOTAN DORON)
The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions will look for a three-peat as they face the Petah Tikva Troopers in Israel Bowl XII, the final of the Kraft Family Israel Football League, this Friday morning at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem.
The game, an 11 a.m. kickoff, is a rematch of last season’s Israel Bowl XI, a game which the Lions won 28-20.
The Lions are quarterbacked by three-time league MVP David Abell, but were propelled this year by the strong performance of rookie running back David Fitoussi – an alumnus of the Kraft Family Israel High School Football League – who rushed for a postseason-record 253 yards in the Lions’ 47-8 semifinal conquest of the Tel Aviv Pioneers.
The Lions also boast the top-scoring defense in the league, led by Leor Markose, Mordy Charnowitz and brothers Tzvi and Arieh-Leib Sklar.
Petah Tikva is looking to win its first-ever title. The Troopers have a three-time MVP of their own in Dani Eastman and enjoyed strong seasons by receiver Danny Mikhailov, QB Avrami Farkas and defensive lineman Ahmed Abu Gaber.
The Troopers reached the finals with a decisive 32-14 win over the Haifa “Nemo” Underdogs, as Eastman scored three times and Mikhailov scored twice, returning from an injury sustained against the Lions in January.
The two teams, who finished as the top two seeds in the regular season, played each other earlier in January, with the Lions pulling off a 27-20 victory. The weather could also factor into Friday’s game, as harsh winds and rains could tilt the scales in the favor of Jerusalem, which has the top running game in the league, while Petah Tikva boasts the league’s top passing attack.
The Kraft Family Israel Football League is run by the Federation of American Football in Israel (AFI) and under the auspices of the Ayelet Federation, the umbrella organization for non-Olympic sports.
This season’s broadcasts have been sponsored by the Otzma Federation, the Israeli Center for Independent Sport Clubs. The game will be broadcast on the AFI website, at the following link:
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