Thursday, December 05, 2013

Video Highlights from the Big Blue Game

With DEC Football in the middle of three bye weeks we are catching up by posting the video highlights from the games against Big Blue.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Entering the night against one of the best teams in the League without DEC's best player, Dani Eastman, would be quite the challenge. But the team stepped up and nearly came away with both victories, ultimately settling for a split.
Game 1
Mercaz received the ball to start the game. Though they drove down the field and picked up a couple of first downs, the defense held up and kept them out of the end zone, with Meyer Tennenbaum intercepting the pass (his 3rd of the season) on 4th & goal.

The offense was missing their go-to receiver, but that didn't keep them from moving the ball. On their first set they drove all the way down to the Mercaz 5-yard line before a costly interception in the end-zone gave Mercaz the ball back in a scoreless game.
The next time with the ball, an unfortunate slip by a DEC corner lead to an easy pass & score for Mercaz. But DEC bounced back, Dani Strauss went to the ground to make a difficult catch, he bounced back up and got an additional 10 yards after the catch. This lead to DEC's first score of the night, a TD pass to Avner Denicoff. The PAT was good to Shlomo Berman and the score was tied at 7-7.
The ensuing drive by Mercaz lead them back down the field. Scoring again in the front corner of the end zone. They missed the extra point to make the score 13-7. The DEC offense turned the ball over with 1:20, but the defense held on to get them the ball back with 23 seconds and 1 timeout. Playing a deep prevent defense, QB Gilad Silverman was able to run for 20 yards to set up the final play of the game with 7 seconds left. He was unable to connect on a hail mary.
Final Score Game 1
Mercaz: 13
DEC : 7
Game 2
Not willing to back down, DEC was ready to earn a split in the 2nd game. Receiving the ball to start, the offense went to work connecting on a huge bomb to Zak Lenik who was caught and tackled at the 5 yard line. Unfortunately the red-zone INT-bug struck again, and Mercaz once again picked the ball off in the end zone.
The defense would come through, a couple of interceptions, one by Shlomo Berman (his 2nd of the season) and Doni Raskas (his 1st) set up shorter fields which DEC took advantage of. Scoring 3 times, including a beautiful Eastman-esque leaping grab by Lenik. After the game, Rabbi Katz commenting on the rookie's stellar game, which earned him the game ball, said "looks like we now have two #1 receivers."

Final Score Game 2
Mercaz: 7

DEC: 20

This win brought DEC's record on the season to 8-1-1, moving them into a 3-way tie for 1st place in the AFI Standings. DEC will look to continue their early season dominance following a 3-week break. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The clash with Big Blue lived up to its billing, in a tough pair of physical games.

The clash with Big Blue lived up to its billing, in a tough pair of physical games.
Game 1
After exchanging punts, the DEC offense moved the ball downfield with a couple of receptions to Dani Eastman. Unfortunately the drive was thwarted with an end-zone interception by Big Blue negating the offensive progress.
The defense, which overall on the night was a bit inconsistent, held Big Blue to another punt. This time QB Gilad Silverman and Eastman connected on a 40 yard bomb for the first score of the game. Eastman, however, could not stay inbounds on the point-after attempt making the score 6-0.
As mentioned, the defense was at times stellar leading to 2 early Eastman sacks, but other times could not muster the pressure giving Big Blue enough time to pick apart DEC's man-to-man defense. On this drive Big Blue went over the top and connected on a long play down to the 5-yard line. A holding penalty pushed them back out of the red zone, but ultimately they scored on a pass to a WR crossing through the back of the end zone. They made their PAT to take the lead at 7-6.

Another bomb to Eastman gave DEC the lead right back, and another failed PAT left the score at 12-7. The defense held the rest of the way, forcing a turnover on downs to end the first game.

Game 1 Final Score
Big Blue: 7
DEC: 12

Game 2

The second game saw both teams moving the ball with little opposition. The 2 sides pretty much exchanged scores throughout the game. Both teams missed 1 extra point leaving it in a tie 13-13.

DEC remains undefeated! 
This week they face more stiff competition going up against the 7-1 Mercaz team, whose lone loss was to Big Blue 2 weeks ago.

Game 2 Final Score
Big Blue: 13

DEC: 13

Monday, November 11, 2013


Another week DEC struggled to run away from the competition, the games were way too close for comfort. This time there was no injury to QB Gilad Silverman to use as an excuse.
This week marked the return of long-time center Aron Hertz, who stepped up with a hurt knee to fill in for an ill Daniel Romero. Hertz did a fine job all night long, with little rust to show.
Also, introduced this week into the League was the "Avner Denicoff Rule", (also known as the Ephraim Addato rule) stating that a ball-carrier can no longer run straight into a set defender and must make an effort to avoid contact.
Game 1
After a quick 3 and out, DEC got on the board early. Running the offense slightly more up-tempo than in previous weeks, the drive was capped off with a TD to . . . wait for it . . . Dani Eastman. Denicoff caught the PAT to give DEC a 7-0 lead.

After forcing OJ to punt again, a TD bomb with a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch by Zak Lenik was called back on an offensive penalty. DEC came back from that miscue to score again though. The TD and PAT to Eastman made the score 14-0.
With a 2-TD lead and plenty of time remaining in the game DEC switched to their Prevent Defense, playing Dani Eastman as a deep safety, instead of on a 3-man line, or short middle-LB. OJ used that opportunity to methodically march down the field and score their first touchdown of the game. Scoring on the PAT made the score 14-7. And that's where it would remain after the 2 sides exchanged stalled drives either way.
Game 1 Final Score
OJ: 7
DEC: 14
Game 2
DEC got on the board on a stellar run by Dani Eastman. It's a shame we didn't have the camera running this week because this run-after-catch included a cut that left an OJ defender pulling at air, and another that made 2 other defenders crash into each other. A missed extra point gave DEC a 6-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, OJ came up with a huge pass over the top, with a lot of space the receiver easily caught the ball and went to the end zone untouched. A missed Point After left the score tied at 6 a piece.
DEC was forced to punt the ball on their next drive, and OJ was forced to do the same. A poorly kicked ball went out of bounds at about mid-field, but a penalty flag gave OJ the opportunity to re-kick. This punt was much better, and Dani Eastman fielded it at the 5 yard line. After making an initial play to return the punt, Dani lateraled the ball to a trailing Doni Raskas. Raskas took the ball all the way for a touchdown, with great upfield blocking by his defensive teammates. The point after made the score 13-6.
Another defensive stop, and DEC headed back the other way. A huge 3rd down reception by Eastman saw him catch the ball 1-handed behind the defenders back before pulling it in. This drive was capped off with a TD to Zak Lenik, and the 2-point conversion made it 21-6. With under a minute remaining, OJ elected to let the time run out. Game over.
Game 2 Final Score
OJ: 6

DEC: 21

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Derech Etz Chaim moves to 4 - 0 with two wins over HODS


Game 1

The defense again set the tone early, forcing Halachic Organ Donors Society to a quick 3 & out, which included a sack by Dani Eastman on 2nd down.

The offense went to work but was thrown out of sync on 2nd down. While laying a block for a Zak Lenik run, QB Gilad Silverman split his chin on an opponent's face. This forced Dani Eastman to replace him at QB while Shlomo Berman entered the game at WR. The makeshift offense did their part though maintaining control of the ball until Gilad was able to re-enter the game with some poorly taped gauze. Avner Denicoff bobbled, but held on to a pass for 10 yards bringing up 1st & goal at the HODS 15. A pass to Dani Strauss took it down to the 5, and a short slant to Eastman put DEC on the board 6-0.

Another 3 & out gave DEC the ball back. With Gilad leaving to get a better bandage situation Eastman again played QB and took the offense downfield. Gilad returned with DEC entering the red-zone, and threw a high pass to Eastman in the end-zone. The ball was deflected by 2 HODS defenders before Strauss was able to cradle it in! The PAT made the score 13-0 with just a few minutes left in the first game.

Then things got dicy. On 3rd down from their own 15, HODS QB stayed tall in the pocket, and with time threw a 45-yard bomb for a TD and making it a 1-score game at 13-6.

After DEC was forced to punt with 1 minute remaining, HODS again connected on a bomb over the top. Down 13-12, HODS elected to go for 2-points and the win with their point after attempt. They missed and DEC came away with the win. 

Final Score Game 1
HODS: 12
DEC: 13

Game 2

DEC received the ball to start the 2nd game and promptly marched down the field. Dani Strauss hauled in another deflected pass(!) and was down at the 1. A TD to Shlomo Berman crossing the back of the end zone, followed by a successful PAT, also to Berman, have DEC the lead early 7-0.

Dani Eastman intercepted a HODS pass on the next drive to give DEC the ball back. Gilad lead them back to the end zone with a TD pass to Eastman. 

With a 13-0 lead, this time the defense did not let things get interesting. In the 2nd game, HODS ran several pitches and end-arounds all for losses.

Final Score Game 2

DEC: 13

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



On the very first play of the game, the defense set the tone for the season with a sack by rookie lineman Sam Harris!
That's the way it was going to go for Bais all night. The defensive pressure was intense throughout.

After a punt, the offense methodically took their time getting downfield for the first score of the game. A touchdown pass to Dani Eastman, plus the extra point made it 7-0, 5 minutes into the first game. After another punt by Bais, Gilad Silverman again led the offense down the field, this time with a behind-the-line-of-scrimmage forward pass to Zak Lenik from the 2 yard line. 13-0.

Another 3 & out for Bais had them punting again. Having already felt the pressure on the two previous punts, the quick kick was low, 1st-year player Meyer Tennenbaum was able to pull it out of the air from his defensive position just 15 yards from the line, and he ran it back to the Bais 12 yard line.
Gilad threw an uncharacteristically soft pass to the TE which was picked off at the 5-yard line. Bais was able to capitalize on the turnover and drive the length of the field for their lone touchdown of the evening bringing the score to 13-6. And that remained the final score as it was late in the game and DEC was able to run out the remaining clock.

Final score Game 1:
DEC: 13
Bais: 6


With a bit of the rust off, the DEC offense & defense both picked it up a notch in the 2nd game.

DEC received the ball to start the 2nd game and promptly drove down the field scoring on a 10 yard pass to TE Avner Denicoff. The defense got the ball right back for them. In Game 1, the defense had a sack on Bais' 1st play, this time they did one better, with Tannenbaum's 1st INT of his AFI career. Gilad and Eastman connected once again, and Dani Strauss caught the extra point putting DEC ahead 13-0.

On the very next play, just Bais' 2nd offensive play of the game, it was Shlomo Berman's turn, with an incredible interception. He and the opposing WR made a simultaneous catch of the football in the air, and when they came down Berman alone had the ball and the pick. This set up yet another Dani Eastman TD (that would be his 2nd of this game, 3rd of the night overall . . . with 2 more still to come...).

On the next set, the Bais offense was finally able to move the ball to mid-field . . . before another Tennenbaum interception gave DEC the ball back! Starting from their own 1-inch line, a short dump-off pass to Eastman provided a beautiful display of jukes, jump-cuts, and missed flags and a 59+ yard TD for DEC. A turnover on downs set us up for his final score of the night, Eastman took a short pass from Gilad and weaved through all 6 defenders. This took us down to the 1-minute warning and the end of the game.

Final score Game 2:
DEC: 32
Bais: 0

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Are you ready for some football!

The dawn of a new season is upon us, as regular season games begin this weekend at Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem.

After weeks of practicing, the Derech Etz Chaim team can't wait . . . unfortunately they must wait, as their traditional 1st week bye means they won't play their first game until next Motzei Shabbos.
Once they hit that field though, it will be tough to stop them, as they enter the season as favorites to win it all.

Lead by veteran quarterback Gilad Silverman (DEC years 9,10,11), the team features a nice mix of rookies and return players. On the offensive side, world-beater Dani Eastman will be joined in the receiving corps by Dani Strauss & Zak Lenik.
The offensive line is comprised of 3rd year vet Daniel Romero and 1st-year Tight End Avner Denicoff, looking primed for a big rookie season.
This offense will be tough to stop. Their quickness and experience should light up the scoreboard right out of the gate.

The DEC defense is going to have a tough time matching them on the other side of the ball, but they're up for the challenge. Doni Raskas returned for year 3 to Israel over Sukkot (pretty sure solely to play football, and who hasn't done that before?) and he brought with him an intense 3-3 defensive scheme that will leave opposing offenses scratching their heads. Playing back there with Doni will be Shlomo Berman, an experienced veteran in the League playing his 1st season with DEC, and rookie DB Meyer Tenenbaum.
At the front of the defense look for Tuli Margolese to set the tone playing alongside rookies Sam Harris and Eli Siebzener. Ben Huisman, Mendel Silverman, and Ari Gold round out the rest of the roster. Looking to supplement the defensive push when their number is called.

Check back each week for news & notes!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DEC 2012-2013 Season Highlights

The season did not end as well as DEC had hoped. Though they put up a great regular season record and and #2 seed in the league (out of nearly 50 teams) and though it was the 6th straight year that DEC made the top tier finals DEC fell short and their season ended in the quarter finals for the second year in a row. Four DECers made the all star team and as they say, there is always next year.
Ben Spear put together this highlight reel of a truly great team, many of whom will be back again next year, with a good infusion of new talent.
We sign off for the summer. Enjoy:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Derech Etz Chaim moves on to the Quarter Finals

Derech Etz Chaim handily defeated Jerry's Kids (Beis) 32-7 in the opening round of the AFI Holyland Bowl playoffs to set up this weeks rematch against Bagelsberg - formerly known as Flying Pizzas.
Last year DEC met Flying Pizzas in the quarter final and were winning with 3 minutes left in the game. The defense made a great stand and the officials, over the vociferous objections of DEC miscounted the downs to grant Flying Pizzas a 5th down and DEC was knocked out of the playoffs.
One year later Flying Pizzas now called Bagelsberg is facing a new DEC team in the same round of the playoffs. Bagelsberg lost a game in the interim round and came in to the playoffs as a lower seed which set up the meeting, but Bagelsberg handed DEC is worst regular season loss earlier in the regular season. This should be an exciting game with DEC wanting to avenge last years 5th down.
Ben Spear has put together creative highlights of last weeks game against Jerry's kids. Enjoy!:

Monday, January 14, 2013

DEC Crushes Lobos 46 -0

Nobody expected it to be this easy. Last years champions Lobos, newly invigorated with QB Micha Muschal have always had close games with DEC. Going back 5 years when DEC stunned Lobos in the championship game, these two teams have met for some of the most exciting games in the AFI with both teams winning and losing in this great rivalry. This game was suppose to be close but DEC came out from the beginning and never stopped and the DEC defense smothered the Lobos for a 46-0 victory. Ben Barel had 3 interceptions and Dani Raskas capped the game with a final pick 6. Gilad Silverman threw to Dani Eastman, Daniel Macks and Raphy Kintzer for TD's and Daniel Romero ran in a short pass for a TD as well.
DEC now goes into the top tier playoffs for the 6th year running as the number 2 seed and has a bye this coming weekend
Highlights by Ben Spear

Sunday, January 06, 2013

DEC defeats LA Nutrition to move on in Intermediate Stage Play

Derech Etz Chaim had to make a tremendous come back on a rainy cold night to defeat LA Nutrition 27-21 and move on in the intermediate stage playoffs.
Kraft Stadium has probably never had worst field conditions. With the rain pounding and the drainage system not working one side of the field was ankle deep in water from the back of the end zone to the 30 yard line. The difficult conditions took away much of DEC's natural advantage over the weaker team. LA Nutrition is the same team that gave DEC trouble last year in the opening week and with DEC receivers dropping the slippery ball and the defense missing flags the game did not look good as DEC went into half time down by a touchdown.
The game began with LA Nutrition quickly scoring and a DEC touchdown off a long Ben Barel run called back by our favorite ref (there is your shout out). It did not go much better until late in the second half when the defense stepped up. Doni Raskas made a clutch interception in the end zone and Gilad Silverman connected with Dani Eastman, Ari Silberstein and Daniel Macks to take the lead finally with 2.5 minutes left in the game. The defense held and DEC was able to breath and take a knee to end the game.
Hats off to Avi Aryeh, Sammy Tover and crew for giving DEC a difficult time with good play. They should still be able to make the final 16 with two victories in their coming games.
Next week DEC faces defending champions Lobos in a rematch of week one. It should be the annual excitement that occurs every year between these two teams.
Due the to rain and there is no highlight video this week.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Highlights from last weeks game

This Saturday night DEC faces LA Nutrition in the first game of the intermediate stage. As the #2 seed DEC faces the 31 seed, a team it faced last year in the same game. In the intermediate round two wins gets you into the round o 16 top tier Holyland Bowl playoffs where DEC has been for the last 6 years.

Here are the highlights from last weeks thumping of Toras Shraga:
Thanks again to Ben Spear productions: