Sunday, December 25, 2011

DEC vs Ateret Cohanim (Bitach)

It was a very rainy night in Yerushalayim in an anticipated game between two of the best teams in the AFI. The result was the same as last year and left many questions as to what would happen on a clear night!
In the first game DEC totally dominated ultimately winning 26-12 . The defense stopped AC and the offense clicked on every down. In the second game in a heavy downpour Bitach took advantage of their run and though the DEC defense stalled them on 3 sets, the offense without the passing game could not make a come back.
Controversy was involved prior to the game as Doni Raskas, the starting DEC CB was suspended for the game due to a roster violation. Gavi Guterson was added to the roster to replace him and did a great job on defense.
Game Report:
Game #1
The game began with AC driving down field and scoring first to take a 6 point lead . But Gilad Silverman led DEC back with a run from Jacob Kon, and good gain from Ephraim Addato on a broken play and pass to Jacob that he ran in for the TD to tie up the score.
The defense held AC to 3 and out and the heavy rain began. Jacob Kon took another pass by Gilad down to the 1 yard line and the offense pushed it in with Joseph Gomez running it in. A quick pass to Raphy Kinzter for the extra point and the score was DEC 13 - AC 6.
AC once again was forced to punt and Lior Goldstein returned the punt for a TD the extra point was good to bring the score to DEC 20 AC 6.
AC drove down field and was within striking distance to get the game close when Lior Goldstein intercepted a pass in the end zone and Jacob Kon ran it in for a TD on the next play.
AC got down field one more time and time expired with the score DEC 26 AC 12.
Game #2
At this point it was pouring and with DEC kicking off AC was able to take advantage of missed flags and sliding players to return the opening kick off for a TD.
DEC could not move the ball in the rain and AC was able to capitalize on a short pass and missed flags to take a 12-0 lead.
Gilad did not have control over the wet ball and AC kept running to take a commanding 18-0 lead. The DEC defense held AC forcing them to punt throughout the rest of the game and Lior Goldstein brought a punt way back and a Gilad Silverman run finally got DEC some points. It was a messy night with DEC losing 18-6.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Derech Etz Chaim defeats Klein Management 20-14 20-18

In a rough game that saw two DEC jerseys shredded, and a number of injuries DEC prevailed for the 4rth straight time in 4 years over Klein Management (Medrash Shmuel) . The highlight of the night was the drive to finish the first game with DEC down by one point. With a minute left Gilad Silverman drove down field with catches by all the receivers to score with 15 seconds left and win the game.
In the second game with DEC leading by 8 Medrash put up a last minute drive helped by trick plays and bad calls to score but missed the extra point to give DEC the victory.
Lior Goldstein came up with two big interceptions including one in the end zone to end a Medrash drive and Doni Raskas had one interception and ran in two touchdowns.
Much credit goes to the DEC O-line , Aron Hertz and Ephraim Addato who dealt with dirty hits the entire night but gave Gilad good protection that led to the wins.
Game report:
DEC kicked off in the first game and on Klein's first drive Lior Goldstein intercepted a long pass to lead to DEC's first drive.
DEC starting at their own 10 was helped by on off sides penalty on 4rth to get the first down and keep the drive going. Raphy Kintzer caught a pass to take it to the 1 yd line. and DEC (literally) pushed it in from there. Raphy took care of the extra point and DEC was leading 7-0
Klein then got back into the game by a long run to set up a short TD pass with the extra point the score was 7-7
DEC then went 3 and out and Klein returned the punt all the way back to the DEC 15
with Klein poised to score again and take the lead Lior Goldstein made a big interception in the end zone to end the drive.
DEC took advantage of the turnover and drove down the field on passes to Noam, Gomez and on an end zone play the ball was tipped out of Addato's hands, then a Klein corner, and into the hands of Jacob Kon for a TD.The extra point was no good and DEC lead 13-7
Klein then came down field when a short pass turned into a big gain on missed flags. A quick pass and an extra point and Klein was leading 14- 13 with a minute to play.
Gilad Silverman calmly led DEC down the field with passes to Jacob, Gomez and Noam. A pass to Noam was tipped into the hands of Gomez who took it down to the 1 yard line. DEC pushed it in to bring the final score to DEC 20 Klein 14

Game 2
DEC received and on the opening play a long bomb to Jacob Kon who made an amazing catch plus the extra point gave DEC a quick 7-0 lead.
Klein used some running and trickery to bring the score to 7-6
DEC was forced to punt on its next drive . The punt was short and gave Klein good field position but Doni Raskas intercepted a pass and got DEC the ball back.
DEC began running the ball with Gilad Silverman running 35 yards into the red zone.
A pass to Noam brought it down to the 1 and DEC pushed it in again. The extra point was good and the score DEC 14 Klein 6
Klein was able to score on their next drive but the extra point was no good. Score DEC 14 Klein 12
DEC drove down feild again with Doni Raskas running in the ball behind blocking from Sammy Blivaiss and Daniel Romero the extra point was no good the score with a minute left in the game DEC 20 Klein 12
Klein still had some tricks in their bag and brought the ball down field and scored with 20 seconds left in the game but could not get the extra point final score DEC 20- Klein 18

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Bye weeks for DEC

After the big win last week DEC has a bye both this week and next before finishing the regular season with three more games.
We want to congratulate QB Gilad Silverman on being voted AFI player of the week for his terrific game last week.
Stay tuned for more DEC football action in the weeks to come.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DEC crushes Bais 26-6 34- 14

Derech Etz Chaim came back from a very mediocre performance in week 3 to crush a Bais team that until now had been competitive in all of its games. The defense provided pressure, sacks and turnovers. The O-line gave Gilad time – not one sack the entire game, Gilad Silverman hit his receivers with great passes and the receiving corps made great catches to put up 60 points on the night and win both games by huge margins. The big story on the night was the play of the first year guys. Daniel Romero, Sammy Blivaiss and Coby Yudkowsky on D-line. Doni Raskas and Gilad Bengio both had interceptions. And Raphy Kintzer emerged as a clutch receiver with a couple of touchdowns and extra points. The other area was kick returns with Lior Goldstein returning the second half kickoff for a touchdown and a punt down to the 2 yd line. DEC heads into 2 weeks of byes (next game December 17) having reestablished themselves as the team to beat.

Game report:

Game #1

Bais received and was held by the defense to 3 and out but DEC failed to capitalize on their first 4 downs allowing Bais to take a 6-0 lead with a long bomb to the end zone. But that was to be the defense's last mistake.

On the very next play Jacob Kon with the help of great blocking ran the field for a touchdown to tie up the game at 6

Bais once again was forced to punt and Lior Goldstein returned the ball to the 5 yard line.

Gilad connected with Noam for the TD with the extra point going to TE Ephraim Addato to give DEC a 13- 6 lead.

Bais was shut out again and turned the ball over at mid field with Gilad hitting Raphy Kintzer for the TD and Jacob for the extra point. DEC 20 – Bais 6

One more time Bais could not get anything and Gilad hit Noam to get the ball down to the 2 yard line and Joseph Gomez ran it in behind the blocking of Aron Hertz, Ephraim, Noam and Gilad.

Final score DEC 26- Bais 6

Game #2

The second game picked up right where the first one left off with Lior Goldstein returning the opening kick off for a TD and Raphy catching the extra point.

On Bais’s opening drive they were helped by a pass interference call bringing the ball way down into DEC territory. The scored. DEC 7 Bais 6.

Things got a little scary when Bais intercepted a pass and made a 2 point extra point to take the lead 14 – 7 but that was the last time they would score.

Gilad calmly marched the team down field to bring the score to 14-14

On Bais’s next drive the D-line applied tremendous pressure backing Bais up into their end zone and forcing an interception by Doni Raskas. Gilad connected with Raphy for the score and Doni ran in the extra point DEC 21- Bais 14

Once again tremendous pressure on Bais and a tipped ball led to a Gilad Bengio interception. Gilad to Jacob for the TD and Raphy for the extra point 28-14

One last TD by DEC brought the final score to DEC 34- Bais 14.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Defensive Battle leaves DEC with a split against TJ

Derech Etz Chaim’s offense stalled handing a game to Tifferet (TJ) and thanks to the defense, which played outstanding, particularly in the second game DEC finished the evening with a split.

Game #1

The first game began with DEC dominating, driving down field to score on a couple of great receptions by Noam while the defense held TJ to nothing forcing them 3 and out on their first two drives. On DEC’s next drive Gilad forced a long pass that led to an interception but the defense held and TJ could not capitalize on the turnover.

DEC then drove down field again and on a long pass to Jacob scored to bring the score to 12- 0 DEC. That is when things began to fall apart.

TJ managed just one short pass but missed flagsby DEC turned it into a TD

Score: DEC 12 – TJ – 6.

On DEC’s next possession Gilad threw a bomb to Jacob for what seemed a touchdown but it was called back on a controversial call, when the ref claimed R’ Katz was still on the field! That penalty plus an offsides backed DEC up to the goal line. On the next play a safety was called as Gilad was sacked in the end zone (replay footage shows that Gilad passed the ball just before the sack but the AFI does not use video replay!)

The safely brought the score to DEC 12 – TJ -8 with TJ getting the ball at midfield. The defense held for the first 2 downs but on third and long a short pass with missed flags brought TJ to the 10 yd line where they were able to pass for an easy TD to win the game 14-12 giving DEC its first loss of the season.

Game #2

DEC received in the second game and worked their way down field. On a pass to the end zone the ball was tipped into the hands of a TJ receiver for a turn over. But on TJ’s first play Lior Goldstein intercepted the pass to give the ball back to DEC. But on the first pass from scrimmage, Gilad’s pass intended for Noam was tipped and TJ got the ball back yet again!

Here the DEC defense totally held TJ to nothing and DEC was able to drive down field and get the ball into the end zone on a pass to Rafi Kintzer who made a nice move and took it in.

Score:DEC 6 – TJ – 0

TJ could not move the ball at all not even getting a first down but when one of their punts pinned DEC at the 2 yard line the TJ defense was once again able to sack Gilad in the end zone for a safety bringing the score to DEC-6 TJ- 2.

DEC’s offense could get down field but could not get the ball into the end zone and after Joseph Gomez pulled a great move on his defender he caught a long pass from Gilad and scored only to have it called back due to a missing flag! (A call the refs had to figure out the rule for a long time – our opinion and that of many officials is that they called it incorrectly.)

The defense held TJ to not even a first down and the game ended with a DEC win 6-2

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DEC Defeats Flying Pizzas 21-0 13-12

Flying Pizzas entered the game calling themselves the “dream team” and left having had a bad nightmare. Derech Etz Chaim thoroughly dominated the New York team of star basketball players who just found out what it takes to win at football.

To give credit, Flying Pizzas had what must be the most dominant defensive lineman in the league and kept the DEC O-line battling all night (great job by Aron Hertz and Ephraim Addato).
Though DEC won the first game handily the second game they only held on to the win due to a great defensive play in the last seconds.

Game #1
In the first game the DEC defense held Flying Pizzas to not just a shut out, but really gave up nothing. All three corners. Lior, Doni and Gilad Bengio shut down their receivers. Flyng Pizzas went 3 and out without even a first down for most of the game, giving up sacks to Sammy, Cobi and Levi and an interception to Doni Raskas. The offense clicked on all cylinders. On the very first play Jacob Kon following excellent blocking ran for a TD, and Doni Raskas ran in the extra point.

The next time DEC got the ball, Noam Silverman caught a pass in the end zone from Gilad Silverman with Joseph Gomez getting the catch for the extra point. And to finish off the scoring Gilad hit Jacob Kon long for a TD followed by and extra point to Raphy Kintzer.

Final Score DEC 21-Flying Pizzas 0

Game #2

In the second came Flying Pizzas seemed to calm down and after DEC scored on its first drive on a pass to Noam they were able to come back down field and even the score 6-6.

DEC got right back down field on a long pass to Jacob but got stuck in the red zone on dropped passes.

The defense held with Coby Yudkowsky blocking a Flying Pizza pass but DEC could not turn it into points.

Once again the defense held with and with the game tied DEC got the ball back after a Flying Pizzas punt at the one minute warning. Gilad went back to what was working and threw a long pass to Jacob in the end zone for a TD. DEC got the crucial extra point to take a 13-6 lead with under a minute to play. All the demons of the last game came back and no one wanted to give up a last minute TD. When Flying Pizzas overthrew long on 4rth down everyone thought the game was over – but there was a flag on the play! Lior Goldstein was called for pass interference on the DEC 30 yd line and with 40 seconds left Flying Pizzas still had a chance. They scored and with almost no time remaining the score was DEC 13 – Flying Pizzas 12. Flying Pizzas elected to go for two points and the win. On the final play the QB found an open receiver in the corner of the end zone but Gilad Bengio got tough and ripped the ball away and the game ended as a DEC win.

Final Score DEC 13 – Flying Pizzas 12

Sunday, November 06, 2011

DEC Season Begins With a Wild One!

DEC opened the new season against a very tough Jerry’s Kids and came away with a win 20-13 and a tie 21 -21. The game had the intensity of a playoff game even though it was just the regular season opener. The stadium was full of fans wanting to get a look at this year’s version of Derech Etz Chaim football.

In the first game of the post Shwartzbaum era (no Koby no Pinchas) new stars arose, with Noam Silverman and Joseph Gomez carrying the load making crucial catches as time expired in both games. DEC’s vaunted defense, playing without the injured Levi Klein, was hot and cold, stopping Jerry’s Kids important drives, but having trouble pulling flags and pulling down the long bombs.

Game 1 began on a sour note with Gilad Silverman throwing an interception on a trick play to start the game, but the defense held and Jerry’s Kid’s turned over the ball on downs giving DEC its first drive starting at mid field. Gilad connected with Noam and DEC was up 6-0.

The defense held once again and DEC drove down field scoring on a run by Gilad and an extra point to Ephraim Addato to make the score 13-0.

Jerry’s Kids taking advantage of missed flags drove down field and scored on a throw just over the head of defending corner Gilad Bengio making the score 13-6. DEC then went 3 and out not converting on 4rth down on a no call on an obvious pass interference (the Jerry’s Kids defender leaped over the intended receiver by pushing down on his shoulders!) and Jerry’s Kids had the ball with great field position. They scored and made the extra point bringing the score to 13-13 with under a minute to play.

Gilad Silverman calmly took the team down the field and after Noam was forced out of the game with an injury Gomez caught two long passes to score and get the extra point.

Final Score DEC 20 Jerry’s Kids 13

Game 2 began well for DEC with Jerry’s Kids going 3 and out on their first possession. Gilad drove DEC down field but two dropped passes in the Red Zone sent DEC home empty. Jerry’s Kids got the ball but threw a long interception to Doni Raskas who ran the length of the field with a great block from Sammy Blivaiss to score with the extra point to Noam DEC 7-0.

Jerry’s Kids came back throwing a long bomb to score and bring it to 7-7

DEC went 3 and out and missed flags gave Jerry’s kids another score bringing the score to 7- 13 . On the next drive Jerry’s sacked Gilad for a safety and now lead 15- 6 with a little over a minute to play. Then began the wackiest minute of football.

Good clock management by DEC and a defense that held gave Gilad back the ball with a little under a minute to play . DEC drove down field scoring with 35 seconds left in the game and making a 2 point conversion to Noam bringing the score to 15-15 . But it was not over.

Jerry’s trying to get something threw an interception to Lior Goldstein who ran it back to give DEC the lead 21- 15 with 15 seconds left in the game.

But a Hail Mary by Jerry’s, tipped by a DEC defender fell into the arms of a receiver to tie the game, but the defense held for the extra point to end the game tied 21-21.

Highlights :

Monday, October 31, 2011

Derech Etz Chaim football is back!

After the heart breaking loss in the final moments of last season's Championship game DEC is ready to make another run. With many returning members of last years team everyone wants to go all the way this time.
Gilad Sulverman returns at Quarterback. Noam Silverman, Joseph Gomez, Levi Klein, Aron Hertz, Dovi Pollack, Jacob Kon, Ephraim Addato and Lior Goldstein are all returning from last year's team. New recruits include Doni Raskas and Gilad Bengio at cornerback. Raphy Kintzer and Zev Klein as wide receivers, and Sammy Blivaiss and Coby Yudkowsky on D-line.
The heart of the old team and the last remaining member of the 2009 Championship team, Pinchas Shwarzbaum is gone (though rumor has it he may be back in time for playoffs.)
The first game of the season is this coming week versus Jerry's Kids, a veteran team who should provide a challenge, particularly with star receiver Jacob Kon and D- lineman Levi Klein out for the week (Levi injured his ankle in a pre-season scrimmage and will be out for several weeks.)
We look forward to a great season once again for DEC. Please stay tuned to the web site to catch all the game reports and highlight reels.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recap of Championship Game

In what will go down in AFI history as one of the most exciting Championship games Derech Etz Chaim was defeated by Big Blue in the final seconds on a “Hail Mary” pass that found a receiver.

The game began poorly for DEC with Big Blue receiving the kick-off and immediately driving down field. Missed flags led to a Big Blue touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

DEC offense could not get moving and turned the ball over on downs after a poorly thrown 4rth down pass and gave Big Blue the ball with great field position at the DEC 20. The DEC defense held and on 4rth down a Big Blue pass intended for Yona Mishan was picked off by Dovi Pollack and ran back for a touchdown. But in what would be a night of controversial calls the TD was called back. Big Blue still could not convert and DEC got the ball back. A long bomb to Jacob Kon is dropped in the end zone and the DEC offense cannot get it together with Gilad throwing an interception in the end zone. Gilad was under tremendous pressure all night with the Big Blue D line getting through on every play.

Big Blue went three and out as did DEC on their next drive, Big Blue finally got something going and on a long pass scored a TD and a crucial extra point to end the half with DEC down 0-13

Whatever was said and adjustments made at half time worked because Gilad and the DEC offense came out on fire. Going no huddle, a pass to Noam, another to Pinchas, two more passes to Sam Ash led to first down. Another to Sam then Noam then Sam again, set up a 4rth down TD pass to Pinchas Shwartzbaum. The entire drive of 7 plays took under 3 minutes to score.

Score Big Blue 13- DEC 6.

The DEC defense held and Big Blue went 3 and out and was forced to punt. DEC got the ball back and after two false start penalties brought the ball back to the DEC 5 Gilad went to work and on 3rd and long hit Noam to bring the ball just short of a first down. A Big Blue offsides gives DEC the first down on the Big Blue 25.Two incomplete passes brings up 3rd and long and Gilad hits Pinchas who takes it in for a TD. Again no extra point and the score is Big Blue 13 – DEC 12 with 13 ½ minutes left in the game.

Big Blue opens up its drive hitting a speedy receiver together with a DEC defensive breakdown and a controversial block gets to the end zone to score. Though a flag is thrown on the play for a block to the back, after a review the call is rescinded and Big Blue leads 19 – 12.

Gilad went to work again throwing long to Pinchas who brings the ball down to the DEC 20 another pass to Sam, another to Pinchas coupled with a holding call against the defense and that brings the ball down to the Big Blue 2 yd line. On 4rth down in a must score position Gilad falls while evading the oncoming defenders but recovers to hit Noam in the end zone for a DEC TD to bring the score to 19-18 with 5 minutes to play.

After Big Blue gets the first down on a long pass the DEC defense holds and DEC gets the ball back on their own 30 with 2 minutes to play. Gilad hits Gomez then Sam then Gomez for a 1rst down on the 10 . With 1:35 left DEC calls timeout with two downs to get the ball into the end zone.

On 4rth down Gilad throws to Noam who collides with the defender, but while catching the ball on the floor, launches the ball over the line for a TD

DEC has its first lead 24- 19 with less then a minute to play.

Big Blue’s drive stall and on 4rth and long just get the first down to stay alive, with 14 seconds left and no timeouts the Big Blue Quarterback launches a “Hail Mary “ to the end zone. Lior is there covering the intended receiver and Gavi is flying in with another Big Blue receiver who somehow in the middle of the pack comes up with the ball and Big Blue ruins DEC’s comeback and its dream of another title.

Gilad Silverman, Noam Silverman, Sam Ash and Pinchas Scwartzbaum played an outstanding second half . This game ends the Pinchas Shwartzbaum – Sam Ash era of DEC football and the newer talent will have to pick up where they left off.

If you wish to listen to the entire exciting game follow the link at to The A.F.I. Flag Football Championship between DEC & Big Blue

Saturday, February 12, 2011

DEC loses Championship to Big Blue on last minute TD

Derech Etz Chaim came back from a 12-0 halftime deficit to take the lead 24-18 with less then one minute to play but lost on a "Hail Mary" pass with 14 seconds left to give Big Blue the championship. A full game report and highlight reel coming soon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Get Ready for the Championship

The excitement is building as Derech Etz Chaim gets ready for the Championship game. As we get ready we invite you to watch the highlights from the 2009 game .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DEC Football on the Radio

If you wish to hear the broadcast from last Motzei Shabbat's game against Lobos it will be re-broadcast tonight 6:00 PM Israel time at .

Last night Rabbi Katz was interviewed on the AFI hour. That interview should be up on the radio site soon as well so check back.

The "Big Game" this week Holyland Bowl Derech Etz Chaim vs. Big Blue will be broadcast live at 8:20 Israel time. A rebroadcast will be available and we will keep you posted.

All of the above should be able to be found in the "listen again section of

Monday, February 07, 2011

Getting Ready for the Big Game

DEC 2009 Championship Team

As DEC prepares for the Championship it is worthwhile to recall some recent DEC football history.
DEC is preparing to play in its second Holyland Bowl in three years, winning in 2009, and "only" making it to the final four in 2010. This years DEC team has only one player who played in that game two years ago and is made up mostly of first year Talmidim! In the last three years DEC's record is 40 wins and 3 losses, and is one of the most dominant teams in the AFI. Year after year the DEC system seems to not only attract some of the top athletes but prepares them to succeed like no other Yeshiva team has succeeded, and all this from a pool of only 40 students.
They face a worthy opponent in Big Blue. They have won more championships over the years then any other team, consisting of Israelis who have been playing together for many years. Last year, to the shock of many, they did not qualify for the top tier playoffs and they entered this year with some younger additions to bolster their team.
These two teams met earlier this year with DEC winning the first game and tying the second (for an overall win) but both teams are much improved since then.
It should be a great game.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

DEC crushes Lobos to move on to the Championship

Derech Etz Chaim manhandled Lobos 40 - 6 to move on to the Holyland Bowl Championship next week against Big Blue.
Lobos, who knocked DEC out of the playoffs last year in the semi finals came into the game looking to do it again, but not this time. The game began with DEC going three and out and Lobos scoring on their first drive to lead 6-0 , that was Lobos last score of the game. Gilad Silverman marched the team down field spreading the passes around to Jacob Kon, Joseph Gomez, Pinchas Schwartzbaum, Sam Ash and TE Noam Silverman. DEC scored on their next two drives and the defense held Lobos to no gain, with the turning point coming on a Gavi Guterson interception that led to another score to give DEC the lead 20- 6 at the half. Lobos could not get anything going with interceptions by Dovi Pollack and Lior Goldstein and DEC kept rolling up the score. As the final minutes approached the fans went wild and DEC returns to the Championship game for the second time in three years.
Since losing in the intermediate round to Tov Pizza, DEC has been on a roll defeating GR Eagles, TJ, Joes Eagles (Torat Shraga) and now Lobos with the scores getting higher each game and the defense giving up less points every week.
Highlights will be coming soon and there will be several posts this week leading up to the championship game

We're going to the Ship' !

DEC destroys Lobos 50 - 6 . Derech Etz Chaim is going back to the Championship for the second time in 3 years and will play Big Blue next week for the title!
Game report and highlights coming soon

Sunday, January 30, 2011

DEC destroys Joe's Eagles moves on to Final Four

Derech Etz Chaim completely controlled the game from beginning to end, to send Joe's Eagles (Torat Shraga) home 54- 12 to move on to the final four for the third year in a row.
On both ends the team played with intensity with Gilad hitting Pinchas, Sam Ash, Jacob, Gomez and Noam for touchdowns and Dovi Pollak and Lior Goldstein making interceptions to stop the only serious Joe's Eagles drives in the first half.
With the score 42 - 0 at the half the starters took a rest and Jake Moritz, Mendel Lazarous got some playing time.
Credit goes to Levi Klein, Ephraim Addato, Gavi Guterson and Ezra Isaacs, who played great defense from beginning to end to completely squash any hope for Joe's Eagles.
DEC now gets ready to play Lobos for the thrid year in a row and second straight semi final match .
Highlights coming soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Playoff Picture

As the AFI and Derech Etz Chaim enter the “Elite Eight” lets update the overall playoff picture.

This week DEC takes on Joe’s Eagles, (Torat Shraga), the team with the second best record this year (following DEC) and the #1 seed in the playoff’s. But that is a bit misleading as they were a Friday team and played a very weak schedule. DEC is the favorite to win, but, it is playoffs and upsets happen.

Including DEC the top 6 teams are still in the playoff picture. The playoffs on the same side of the bracket as DEC pit last years champions, Lobos, vs. Klein Management. The winner will play the winner of the DEC - Joes’ Eagles game. Both Lobos and Klein are very strong teams and the outcome is far from certain. Lobos are still led by QB Yitz Weider who lost to DEC 2 years ago in the Holyland Bowl and beat DEC last year in the semi finals and went on to win it all. Klein is a team that has usually fallen short and was knocked out in the playoffs the last two years by DEC, but this year restocked with a number of the players from the Lobos team that lost to DEC two years ago. Klein is widely viewed as the most talented team in the league.

On the other side of the bracket the 4 teams remaining include three of the leagues strongest teams. Bitach take on Tov Pizza. Tov is without their Quarterback Micha Muschel who was injured three weeks ago in the DEC game and is out for the season. Tov Pizza is still strong but without that mishap they would be favorites to take their bracket. Big Blue takes on Jerry’s Kids and are the strong favorite to emerge and go on to the Holyland Bowl, though Bitach or Tov Pizza could pull off an upset.

Stay tuned for Saturday night to see who goes on to the final four.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DEC Beats TJ 31- 19 to advance in the playoffs

In the leagues most anticipated first round playoff match up, Derech Etz Chaim handily defeated the highly rated TJ (Tifferet Yerushalyim) team 31-19 and moves on to face Joes Eagles (Torat Shraga) in the playoff quarter finals.
The game began poorly for DEC with TJ scoring first. Gilad Silverman quickly got DEC back into the game with a long bomb to Jacob Kon to quickly bring the team down field and score. TJ leading 7-6 quickly scored as well on a long down field pass and it looked like it was going to be a difficult night for DEC at this point down 13-6.
The team drove down field scoring again to bring the score to 13-12. This time the defense held and TJ could not put up points getting the ball back to the DEC offense with 3 minutes left in the half. That is when the big turn around occurred.
DEC drove down field scoring just at the 1 minute warning to take their first lead 18-13 . TJ got the ball and on their first play from scrimmage, Dov Pollack picked off the pass giving DEC the ball with under a minute at the TJ 10 yard line. DEC quickly scored and looked to head into the half with a 24- 13 lead.
The TJ quarterback threw a long pass which was well defended by Lior Goldstein who tipped the ball, but the TJ receiver made a great effort and grabbed the ball to put TJ on the 5 yard line with seconds to go in the half. On the next play Lior intercepted the pass in the endzone and ran it all the way back for a touchdown as time expired. With the extra point DEC went into the half leading 31-13 having scored 19 points in the last minute of the first half!
The second half was all defense with TJ getting a meaningless touchdown late in the game and the game ended on an appropriate note with Ezra Isaacs intercepting the final TJ pass of the season.
Pinchas Shwartzbaum caught two TD's, Jacob Kon caught one and ran for one and Noam Silverman caught one for the DEC scores. Defense played incredibly well, Gavi Guterson made important stops and the D-line - Sam Ash, Levi Klein and Efraim Addato all kept the pressure on the TJ QB and made big stops.
Here are this weeks highlights:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

DEC moves on to the Playoffs!

In its first elimination game Derech Etz Chaim took on a determined GR Eagles in a physical game and handily defeated them 40 – 18. The game began very one sided and ended one sided. DEC’s first three touchdowns, on two TD passes to Pinchas and a Jacob Kon interception went unanswered until late into the first half when GR Eagles scored twice to bring the halftime score to 19- 13. Derech Etz Chaim dominated the second half with a 30 yard TD run by Sam Ash, a TD to Jacob and a trick play pass from Jacob Kon to Joseph Gomez. All went unanswered as the DEC defense held the GR Eagles to one touchdown at the end of the game.

It was a powerful second half showing from DEC who had been struggling late in games the last several weeks and it was a great win entering the Holyland Bowl playoff tier for the 4rth year in a row. DEC will face a resurgent TJ in the first round of the playoffs next Sat. night. Last year TJ lost in the finals and the same team is back. Though they did not perform well in the regular season, they have played strong in the post season and will be a challenge for DEC in what will again be the game of the week at Kraft Stadium.

Highlights of this past weeks game:

Online All Star voting underway!

Online voting for the 2011 All Star Game is underway.Vote for the DEC nominees

The ballot is at . The All Star Game is tentatively scheduled for Championship weekend, immediately preceding the Holyland Bowl.

The All Stars are chosen in a combined online poll and officials’ poll.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

DEC loses a close one to Tov Pizza 21-19

DEC suffered its first loss of the season to Tov Pizza in the qualifying round and now must beat the GR Eagles next Sat. night to advance to the playoffs.
In an extremely close game decided by extra points, DEC with 2 chances in the last 5 minutes to win the game could not punch it in.
On the first play of the game Gilad threw a TD pass to Pinchas to go up 6-0 but Tov Pizza immediately scored on their first two drives to take the lead 14-6. DEC came back with another touchdown and had the ball with time to score at the end of the first half but could not get into the endzone ending the first half down 14-13.
In the seond half the DEC defense stood tough giving the offense plenty of opportunities to score but the DEC offense sputtered to lose 21-19
Next weeks game is now a must win to get back into the playoffs. Hopefully the team will take some lessons from this week, win next week, and get it back together for a strong playoff run now going into the final round as a 2 seed.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

DEC crushes Neve Tziyon in Group Stage opener

In what is becoming an annual event, Derech Etz Chaim crushed Neve Tziyon 39 - 13 in their opening game of the group stage to once again move closer, to a playoff berth. Jacob Kon starred on the night with 3 TD receptions, one extra point, two interceptions as well as throwing a TD to Joseph Gomez to cap off the night.
Gilad threw 5 TD’s on the night, 3 to Jacob one to Noam and another to Pinchas. Levi Klein had a big night on D-line with some timely big sacks as well as applying pressure throughout the game.
Next week DEC moves on to play Tov Pizza, a team at the top of the league in a game the league is buzzing about. DEC is looking forward to Sam Ash returning to help with the playoff run.
Here are this weeks highlights: