(photo credit: Adlai Maschiach)
It was a welcome-to-the-league weekend in more ways than one as the Kraft Family
IFL was back in action with a pair of Week 2 contests, both of which brought
somewhat surprising results.
On Thursday in Jerusalem, the Gush Texas
Judean Rebels ran roughshod over the Real Housing Haifa Underdogs, scoring early
and very often to come away with a 78-32 victory that set the IFL record for
points scored by one club.
Saturday night featured the first regular
season game as a franchise for Leo Bloom’s Herzliya Hammers, who looked like
anything but an expansion team en route to an impressive 38-8 spanking of the
Papagaio Jerusalem Kings in front of a raucous hometown crowd at the beautiful
Bat Yam Municipal Stadium.
Saul Lokier and Erez Mamaan led the way for
the Hammers, each accounting for a pair of touchdowns in the maiden triumph
against the severely depleted Kings, who were done in by fumbling the ball a
total of eight times, losing three.
Zahi Gradstein and Shabby Shavit
combined for 99 yards rushing for Herzliya (1-0), which was buoyed by an
offensive attack based on text-book, smashmouth football focused on minimizing
Gradstein scampered into the house from seven yards out on
the Hammers first drive and a stellar all-around defensive effort led to the
Kings (0-2) having a difficult time moving the ball all game.
safety and Lokier’s first TD, on a pass from Mamaan, sent the hosts into the
break with a 14-0 lead, and although the Kings tried valiantly to hang with
their opponents in the third quarter, second-half scores from Lokier, Roddy Berg
and Liran Galili ensured that the Hammers would get their inaugural season
started off with a win.
In Thursday’s lopsided matchup in the capital,
the Rebels (1-1) were able to impose their offensive will on the overmatched
Underdogs (0-1), with QB Alex Swieca completing 16 of 33 passes for 226 yards
and five TDs, plus taking on in himself.
On the other side of the ball,
Haifa was victimized by a number of early gaffes, which led to the Orangemen
putting up the first 16 points of the game, both on fumble recoveries and
returns to the endzone, by Boris Safaniev and Ricky Wolder.
score another defensive TD with a 31-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter, as
well as rack up nine tackles in addition to his regular kicking duties to earn
the Mike’s Place Players of the Weekend award along with the Hammers’
This week, the IFL has a pair of games on tap, with the Big Blue
Jerusalem Lions (1-0) hosting the Dancing Camel Tel Aviv Pioneers (0-1) at Kraft
Stadium in Jerusalem on Thursday, and the Arthur’s Tel Aviv/Jaffa Sabres (1-0)
visiting the Travel Leader’s Beersheva Black Swarm (1-0) on Friday down
South.For more information about the IFL and tackle football in Israel,
please visit www.ifl.co.il