Monday, January 30, 2006

Team News - Vol. 2.7

  • Derech Etz Chaim finished the regular season with a 2-7 record and in 44th place out of 50 teams.
  • DEC is the 4th seed in the eight team Tier 4 Playoffs. Their quarterfinal game will be this Friday against One Hour Cellular, a team they beat four weeks ago.
  • Linebacker Michael Deutsch fractured his hand in Week 12 against METV. He will miss the rest of the season.
  • Quarterback Betzalel Gersten was knocked out of the game in the second half last week after suffering an extreme bloody nose. His condition was stabilized on the sideline, and was released from the Terem medical clinic after a short visit. He has been cleared to play this week.
  • Former team captain, Ari Gold, played in the last two games during his winter break visit to Israel. Last season's team captain, Zack Eisner, also played last week during his visit.
  • So far, Isaac Manaster has raised 235 shekels for tzedakah through his "I-Sack For Tzedakah" promotion. If you would like to donate 5 shekels to tzedakah for every sack that Isaac records this season, please email
  • The team would like to wish a mazel tov to former teammate Ari Gold on his engagement to Rachie Jacobsen.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Game 9 Recap

Derech Etz Chaim closed out the regular season with an exciting game on Saturday night. The team was trying to avenge the game they lost to the Ner Yaakov Cobras in Week 5.

Just like almost every other game this season, this one started off pretty ugly. On their opening drive, DEC went for it on 4th-Down from midfield. Ner Yaakov got good field position when DEC's 4th-Down attempt failed. Ner Yaakov took advantage of the opportunity by making a quick score, taking an early 6-0 lead.

And if anyone hadn't been convinced by then that it was going to be a long night, they were after quarterback Betzalel Gersten threw an interception on the next drive.

DEC got the ball back when Ari Gold intercepted a pass in the end zone for a touchback. Just a few plays into the ensuing drive, DEC got on the board when wide-receiver Jonah Zisquit ran 25 yards to the end zone after receiving a pass from Gersten. On the extra-point attempt, Zisquit made a highly disputed catch while he was on the ground, giving DEC a 7-6 lead at halftime.

DEC received the second half kickoff and pieced together a drive that culminated when Gersten found wide-receiver Elan Noorparvar in the back of the end zone to take a 13-6 lead.

While the defense continued to stymie the Cobras' offense, DEC continued to push. The offense added to the lead when Gersten found tight end Eli Mirlis, who rumbled in past several Ner Yaakov defenders.

Now down 19-6, Ner Yaakov made a comeback push. They cut the lead to 19-12 with 1:30 left in the game. When DEC was unable to run out the clock, Max Gornish was forced to punt from the back of the end zone. Luckily, the punt was not fielded and it rolled in DEC's favor. Ner Yaakov began their last attempt to tie or win the game from their own 20-yard-line with 30 seconds left in the game.

After two incomplete passes, and then a short gain on 3rd-Down, cornerback Mordy Kramer intercepted the pass on 4th-Down, and returned it 50 yards to the end zone, where he was mobbed by players and fans, who celebrated an enjoyable end to an otherwise frustrating regular season.

The most obvious thing that changed in this game was that the real defense decided to show up to this game and they stayed until the final whistle. They didn't show up late, nor did they leave early, which seemed to be the case for most of the previous eight games. They played with three games' worth of quality. It'’s as if they were accumulating a whole case of defense to spend on the last game. And spend it they did, amassing nine sacks in all, scoring a defensive touchdown, and virtually shutting down a team that beat them by two points earlier in the season.

On the other hand, the offense started slow and finished slow as well. They eventually got things going, and were able to put up a sufficient amount of points. On their second-to-last drive, it looked as if DEC was going to add to their lead before Gersten was knocked out of the game. A blow to the nose caused severe bleeding, requiring a trip to the emergency room. The offense, a little distracted, was unable to finish off the drive, giving up the ball on downs at the 5-yard-line. In order to win their tournament, the offense will have to play well from beginning to finish.

With the close of the regular season comes the playoffs. DEC is the 4th seed in the Tier 4 tournament. More details about the playoffs are coming soon.

We've prepared the first highlight reel from a game the team has won, woohoo! Enjoy.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Team News - Vol. 2.6

  • On Friday December 23, Derech Etz Chaim lost 38-20 to Waxman Warriors.
  • On Friday January 6, Derech Etz Chaim faced One Hour Cellular (affiliated with Bais Yisroel). DEC got off to a poor start, going down by a touchdown after the offense didn't convert on 4th-Down deep in their own zone. Then the offense was unable to score after driving to the red-zone. They tied the game just before halftime on a gorgeous one-handed touchdown catch by wide reciever, Jonah Zisquit. Both the offensive and defensive squads put it into gear for DEC in the second half, finally winning their first game of the season by the score of 27-7. (They even converted on each of their extra-point attempts!)
  • On Saturday January 14, Derech Etz Chaim lost 24-19 to METV.
  • DEC is now 1-7, good for 3 points and 48th place in the league.
  • DEC will play it's final regular season game on Saturday night January 21 against the Ner Yaakov Cobras. It will be a rematch of the Week 5 matchup that DEC lost by 2-points. If DEC wins, they will qualify for the Tier 4 playoffs, but a loss will drop them into the Tier 5 playoffs.
  • So far, Isaac Manaster has raised 165 shekels for tzedakah through his "I-Sack For Tzedakah" promotion. If you would like to donate 5 shekels to tzedakah for every sack that Isaac records this season, please email