Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quarterfinal Recap

With starting quarterback Levi Naiditch in the army this week, Yerucham Pliner grabbed the reigns of the offense in Derech Etz Chaim's quarterfinal matchup against Orli Print. During DEC's first possession, Pliner followed beautiful blocking down the length of the field for a touchdown. The DEC offense stalled twice more in the red zone and did not find the end zone the rest of the first half. After halftime, a long pass to Kobi Schwartzbaum led to a touchdown reception by Pinchas Scwartzbaum. The following drive was capped by a catch and run by Sam Ash for the touchdown.

With Sam Ash returning to the defense, DEC repeated their shutout performance against Orli Print during the group stage.

The weather was wet and stormy and effected DEC's ability to run up the score on long throws. Instead, they marched up the field five times, scoring on two of those drives. The weather also impeded our film crew from recording footage of this game. We apologize for this; in place of highlights from this week, here is a highlights remix from the game against Orli Print during the group stage...

Next up: Miamo Magic, who defeated AH Schrieber to advance to the semifinals, as you can see from the updated playoff brackets...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Round of 16 Recap

Derech Etz Chaim entered the first round of the playoffs hoping to have their entire team available for the first time since December. Sam Ash, the teams leading defensive lineman, was an idiot and injured himself playing basketball the Friday before the game, hurting the DEC defense and making the game against Karelitz a bit scarier then expected.

Karelitz took advantage of the depleted DEC defense and scored on their first three drives while holding DEC without a score. Karelitz led DEC 19 – 0 with less then 3 minutes in the half. At that point the DEC offense sparked by Yerucham Pliner and Kobi Schwartzbaum started to get on the board and DEC was down 19 – 7 at the half. 

Receiving the ball to begin the second half, DEC put up another touchdown to cut the deficit to 19 -14, but Karelitz came back with another score to lead 25 – 14 with under eight minutes to play. At that point DEC came alive. Levi Naiditch ran the ball and threw two perfect passes as DEC drove downfield to bring the game within reach. The score was 25- 20 with under four minutes remaining. 

The defense held and Karelitz made a tremendous mistake on 4th and 20 attempting a fake punt which failed, giving DEC the ball with great field position and an opportunity to take the lead. DEC scored on an accurate pass from Naiditch and a great catch  to Pinchas Schwartzbaum. The stadium went wild after the successful two-point conversion gave DEC the lead 27-25 for the first time all game with under two minutes to play. 

DEC held on to win with a crazy crowd and a relieved team to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time! Their quarterfinal opponent this motzei shabbos will be Orli Print, a team DEC defeated 33-0 during the group stage last month.

Here are the history making highlights...

...and here are the updated playoff brackets...