Sunday, January 30, 2005

Game 11

Derech Etz Chaim made its fourth appearance at Ziv Field in the first round of the Terem Bowl Playoffs on Motzei Shabbos. They're opponent was the sixth seed, Targum Shlishi, from Bais Yisroel.

Kicker Moshe Franklin began the game with another kick through the end zone. Even though Targum had to begin at their own 20 yard-line, they were able to score with a deep pass to the 1 yard-line and then a subsequent touchdown pass. They scored in similar fashion three more times in the first half.

DEC though didn't back down. They also scored four times in the first half, with three touchdown catches by Jonah Zisquit and one by Zack Eisner. They also scored one more extra point than Targum, giving them a 26-25 halftime lead.

Both teams made excellent defensive adjustments during the halftime break, which made for a very uneventful second half. Both teams were able to drive the ball downfield, but neither were able to punch it in until Targum scored with less than 10 minutes remaining.

On their second-to-last possession, DEC gave the ball over on downs after they didn't convert on 4th and 1 from the Targum 15 yard-line. With thirty seconds remaining, DEC took over near their own goal line, but quarterback Eli Berkowitz was unable to hook up with any of his receivers downfield before time, and the season, ran out.

After their six straight wins, it appeared that the team had worked out all the glitches, but this game proved that that was not so. It was a contest full of penalties. Both the defense and offense looked out of synch at different points in the game.

After the game though, the team was well spirited as they reminisced about the overall winning season they had just completed. The loss dropped the team to 6-5-0, a figure the team was generally happy about.

The DEC student body now turns its attention to softball. You can follow DEC's softball team, which is expected to begin play within the next four weeks, online: Derech Etz Chaim Softball Team

You can follow the remainder of the American Football in Israel playoffs online as well: AFI playoffs

We hope everyone will check back next year for a new season of Derech Etz Chaim football!

Mazel Tov

The entire team would like to wish a mazel tov to teammate Eliyahu Kenigsberg on his engagement. Mazel Tov, Eliyahu!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Game 11 Preview

The eleventh seeded Derech Etz Chaim begins its drive towards the Terem Bowl this Motzei Shabbos, January 29, against the sixth seeded Targum Shlishi(affiliated with Bais Yisroel). The game will be played at 8:25 at AFI's alternate venue, Ziv Field.

Targum Shlishi, with a record of 4-5-1, will try to win for the first time in two months. Alternatively, DEC, with a record of 6-4-0, will try to extend their six-game winning streak.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Playoff Preview

American football in Israel(AFI) released the seedings and brackets today for the two playoff tournaments after last night's games closed the regular season.

Derech Etz Chaim finished the second round of the regular season as one of only six teams to win all four of their games. That effort qualified Derech Etz Chaim for the Terem Bowl(aka "lower tier") Playoffs. They will be joined by (now stick with me folks) the next six best teams from the second-round lower-tier, and the nine worst teams from the second-round higher-tier, for a total of sixteen teams. The Holyland Bowl(aka "higher-tier") Playoffs will be contested by the sixteen best teams from the second-round higher-tier.

The nine higher-tier teams are seeded 1-9, and the seven lower-tier teams are seeded 10-16. DEC finished the second round with 140 points for and 36 points against for a difference of 104. Fantasy Sports, who also won all four of their games, finished with 144 points for and 36 points against for a difference of 108. Since DEC finished four differential points behind Fantasy Sports, they came a close second in the lower-tier standings and were placed as the eleventh seed.

Complete seedings and brackets

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Game 10

Although it did rain on Saturday in Yerushalayim, it wasn't enough to postpone Derech Etz Chaim's game against Medevils. It was to be both teams' final game of the second round. DEC was looking to complete the round without a mark to its record.

Kicker Moshe Franklin began the game with a kickoff that went through the end zone, making Medevils' line of scrimmage the 20 yard-line. Alumnus Benjy Sassoon, making his first appearance of the season, picked off the pass on Medevils' first play from scrimmage. The ensuing drive was capped by Eliyahu Keningsberg's 5-yard touchdown rush, which was lead by offensive linemen Ellis Ballew and, another alumnus making his first appearance of the season, Seth Faigen. The extra point was missed, but DEC still took a 6-0 lead.

Isaac Manaster's sack helped hold the Medevils' offense, but when DEC's offense took over, quarterback Eli Berkowitz's pass was intercepted near the goal line.

After the defense made a third consecutive hold, Berkowitz hit Zack Eisner with a pass from midfield on the first play of the drive to take a 12-0 lead.

Medevils began their next possession with a minute remaining in the half. They effectively employed their "two-minute offense" and succeeded in scoring, making it a 12-6 game at halftime.

DEC received the second-half kickoff and drove down the field, eventually scoring on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Jonah Zisquit's catch put the team up 18-6. A similar 15-yard touchdown catch by Zisquit on the team's last possession made the score 24-6. Since the 17-point mercy rule was in effect, the game ended with a minute remaining on the game clock.

DEC relied much more on the running game against Medevils than against any other opponent. Keningsberg gained about 60 yards on 6 rushing attempts. Berkowitz gained about 30 yards on 5 rushing attempts and also threw three touchdown passes. On the defensive side, Manaster and Ballew recorded 1.5 sacks each.

By winning their sixth consecutive game, DEC completed the second round with a record of 4-0, and 6-4 overall. Their undefeated record in the round is good for first place in their division and a spot in the lower-tier single-elimination playoffs, which are set to begin on January 28. In order for DEC to advance to and eventually win the Terem Bowl, they will have to face opponents who are decidedly better than the teams they have beaten in their last six games. Undoubtedly though, the team is much better off with this six-game wining streak, as it has given the team the confidence boost, as well as the much needed momentum, that it will take to defeat the competition they now face.

Additional information regarding the playoffs will be posted as it becomes available.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Game 10 Preview

This Motzei Shabbos, January 15, Derech Etz Chaim will try to clinch a spot in the final round of the AFI season as they take on Medevils. A win would give DEC a first-place finish in their secound-round division, and an automatic ticket to the final round. A loss would give the team a second-place finish, in which case tiebrakers would determine whether or not DEC advances to the next round.

DEC takes its five game winning streak into the game against the only other team in the secound-round division who is also undefeated. The game will be at 10:30 PM at Ramat Eshkol, where AFI games are being played while Kraft Stadium is being resurfaced with synthetic grass. A 50% chance of rain on Saturday may postpone the game until next week.

If DEC does advance to the final phase of the AFI season, they will be one of 16 teams in the lower tier single-elimination playoff, which leads to the Terem Bowl. Another 16 teams will be in the higher tier single-elimination playoff, which leads to the Holyland Bowl. Both bowl games are expected to be contested on February 18th at the refurbished Kraft Stadium in the presence of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft..

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Player - Position - Shanah
Ballew, Ellis - off./def. lineman - 1
Berkowitz, Eli - quarterback - 3
Deutsch, Mike - wide reciever/cornerback - 1
Eisner, Zack* - wide reciever/linebacker - 3
Faigen, Seth - offensive lineman - billion
Franklin, Moshe - cornerback/safety/kicker - 2
Gonik, Jay - off./def. lineman - 1
Gornish, Max - wide reciever - 1
Keningsberg, Eliyahu - wide reciever/cornerback - 3
Malkin, Danny - wide reciever - 1
Manaster, Isaac - off./def. lineman - 1
Meisels, Dani - off./def. lineman - 1
Sassoon, Benjy - wide reciever/safety - billion
Zisquit, Jonah - wide reciever/cornerback - 1


Derech Etz Chaim's Official Website:
American Football in Israel