The 2016/17 Kraft Family Israel Football League Playoffs got started with a bang over the weekend as the fifth-seeded Judean Rebels beat the fourth-seeded Ramat HaSharon Hammers 36-14 on the road, and the heavy underdog No.
6 Beersheba Black Swarm gave the No. 3 Tel Aviv Pioneers a run for their money before succumbing to the favored Tel Avivians in a 68-40 shootout.
The Rebels notched their fourth straight win overall, using a pair of touchdown passes from Jeff Balaban – to Yoel Hughes and Zevi Katz – to take a 16-0 lead.
Hammers’ quarterback Jonathan Curran threw a score to Ben Landon, narrowing the deficit to 16-6 heading into the break. The Judeans ran away from Ramat Hasharon in the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter before letting their defense hold off any Hammers’ hopes of a comeback.
In the second contest of the weekend, Yuval Fenta had a monster game for the victorious Pioneers with an IFL playoff record 259 yards and four touchdown on 27 carries, while Matanel Katz completed 14-of-21 passes for 255 yards six touchdowns and an INT for the Black Swarm in defeat.
The Rebels play the Jerusalem Lions in the semifinals on Thursday night, while the Pioneers are off to Petah Tikva to play the No. 2 Troopers on Friday.