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(photo credit: Courtesy)
Big Blue Jerusalem thrashed Dancing Camel Hasharon 46-18 in the inaugural game of the The Israel Football League at the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem on Friday. Around 200 fans attended the small venue in the hope of seeing exciting, free-flowing football.
Big Blue didn't disappoint.
Moshe Horowitz, who was the active force for Jerusalem throughout the game, scored a running and a receiving touchdown for the home side. Aryeh Bauman and Uri Schiff shared the quarterbacking duties and combined for four touch down throws and 16 completions in 26 attempts.
"This is a dream come true and its because everyone pitched in," Horowitz, said. "It was a big team effort. There was a lot of line blocking, and I'm glad we scored."
On Saturday, Real Housing Haifa defeated a resilient Mike's Place Tel Aviv 27-20 at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet.
According to Eric Amkraut, IFL Commissioner, the kick-off to the season is very exciting for everyone involved.
"You can feel the electricity in the air," Amkraut said. "There are several players who have been in Israel for over 20 years, and to play football here was only a dream, until now."
According to Steve Leibowitz, President of the American Football in Israel association, the league aims to keep getting better.
"We are very pleased with the first games, a good crowd came out and the play was on a decent level," Leibowitz said. "Now we will just strive to improve over the course of the season. But, the sportsmanship was there, even from the losing team. Football in Israel is now on the map and we can grow from here."
Amkraut agrees that there is room to improve, but attributes some of the mistakes in the first game to nerves.
"Everyone was just so excited that you could tell that some balls, that would otherwise be caught, were dropped," says Amkraut. "This is the start of something intense and we will just keep learning and getting more comfortable. But, this was a really nice start and it's just going to get bigger and bigger."
On Friday, at noon, Dancing camel Hasharon will play against Real Housing Haifa at Baptist Village in Petah Tikva. The league is also gearing up for a special "Hanukah Ball" game on December 8 at Kraft Stadium.