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