Week 4 Recap – By Rafi Kristallweiss

Week four of the FM Home Loans AFI League was a night for teams to make a statement as the half point of the season nears.  Upsets, close calls, feisty play, nail bitters, and blowouts were all a part of a memorable night at Kraft Stadium.   As the Jerusalem air gets cooler and winter approaches, the time is now for teams to start clicking and winning.  Fans were in for a real surprise as they saw both teams from last year’s championship take a loss this week.  Week four brought the intensity and fight out in teams looking to show that they are a real contender for the Holy Bowl.

The night got started with undefeated Mercaz (6-0) taking on a struggling Big Blue (1-4-1) squad.  Defense was again the story for Mercaz as A.Y. Swiatycki and Dovi Rogoff kept Big Blue in check on offense with tons of pressure and interceptions.  After going up by a touchdown Mercaz’s defense was able to get a safety followed by a punt return touchdown by Elisha Rudman to put away game one 15-0.  In game two, Big Blue was able to put up a fight tying the game at 6-6 after wide receiver Chaim Jacobson caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Burg.  Once again it was Rudman coming up big for Mercaz taking an interception back for a touchdown to close the door on Big Blue 20-6 in game two.

Up and coming team Hedgehogs 2.0 (6-0) kept their winning streak intact vs The 305 (0-4).  Star quarterback Kalmi Netzer for the Hedgehogs was hitting his receivers Efraim Klucki, Yisroel Greenfeld, and Chaim Fink all for scores in a blowout 28-0 win over The 305 in game one.  The 305 played a much improved second game keeping the game within a touchdown for most of the game but Chaim fink was able to add on to his multiple touchdown evening to help the Hedgehogs 2.0 take game two 20-14.

Winless Jerry’s Kids (2-4) were looking to get their season back on track vs Joe’s Eagles (2-3-1).  After hitting the practice field earlier in the week, Jerry’s Kids showed much improvement.  Quarterback Meir Cohen found his stride hitting wide receivers Eli Gurwitz and Asher Neuman for touchdowns to shutout the Eagles 14-0 in game one.  Joe’s Eagles were able to tie it up 6-6 early in game two as quarterback Kobe Greenfeld found Elazar Kolom in the end zone.  Jerry’s Kids stormed back with fourteen unanswered points, putting game two out of reach for the Eagles, winning 20-12.

Pizzeria Efrat (2-2) looked back to norm vs Nesiv Hatorah (2-6) after tough losses last week.  New quarterback Bibi Goodman brought new life to Pizzeria Efrat rushing for one score and throwing for two more in a game one victory 19-7.  The second brought the same outcome as Nesiv Hatorah wasn’t able to get their offense in sink putting up a doughnut in a 21-0 loss.  Effi Mishaan and Akiva Rindenow both caught passes in the win for Pizzeria Efrat.

The veteran Integramed Thunder Muffins (4-2) took on the feisty Zayat Stables (4-2).   Game one went back and forth as the Cougars (Zayat) were not intimidated by the notorious Thunder Muffins.   Rookie quarterback Issac Laifer hit wide receiver Yisroel Soloman to put the Stables up 6-0.  Dani Eastman tied the game up catching a long ball from teammate Avrami Farkas.  Laifer struck again connecting with Wide Receiver Bryan Alter, putting the Stables team up 13-6.  The Thunder Muffins found themselves in unfamiliar territory down by a score with less than two minutes to go in the game.  Farkas was able to find Dani Eastman in the corner of the end zone to put the score at 13-12 with the extra point still yet to come.  Deciding to go for the win, the Thunder Muffins went for two but did not succeed, losing game one 13-12.  Game two was another battle to the end as the Stables would not go away, trading scores with the Thunder Muffins all game.  Wide Receiver Shlomo Berman closed the door late in the game catching a touchdown from Avrami Farkas to seal a 28-20 for the Thunder Muffins in game two.

TJ’s Amudim (1-5) was finally able to deliver for their loyal fans taking on The Buds Reliable Care (3-3).  The Buds got their offense going in game one from their star receiving duo Yosef Kasper and Avromi Gurfreund.   The Buds defense, under captain Mordechai Amoyelle shoutout the Amudim 16-0 in game one.  TJ’s Amudim fought hard in game two with Quarterback Rafi Hersher running for one score and throwing for two more to get his offense clicking.  The Amudim’s defense was able to stop the Buds late in the game to sneak away with their first win of the season 18-14.

TC Maestros (5-1) were no match for new team Eretz Hatzvi (0-6).  Star Reciveing core, Yosef Willheim, Shmuel Sauer, and Yehuda Deutsch were all able to celebrate in the Kraft Stadium end zone.  Too much Maestros for Eretz Hatzvi as they were defeated 28-0 and 28-6.

Tzioni Fisherman (5-1) were on a mission in The Game Of The Week vs The defending champions Imrei Hillbillies (3-3).  Tzioni Fisherman’s Team Leader Tzvi Sklar was looking to back up his trash talk on the Facebook Live FM Home Loans Weekly Broadcast.  Avi Zurn, returning to action after missing the first three weeks of the season wasted no time finding Abe Reznick in the end zone to put the Tzioni Fisherman up 7-0.  The Fisherman’s defense gave Yaakov buff of the Hillbillies no time to think in the pocket picking him off twice.  The Sklar brother duo for the Fisherman was in his face early and often racking up multiple sacks.  Meir Kiffel put an end to any Hillbilly comeback intercepting Buff to win game one 7-0.  A crowded Kraft Stadium was looking for the defending champion Hillbillies to come out strong in game two.  Fisherman’s quarterback Avi Zurn could not be contained running all around defenders and then hitting his receivers Ab Reznick and Ezzi Jaski for touchdowns.  The only points the Hillbillies were able to put up was on defense, as Menachem Braun took back an extra point to avoid getting shutout.  After getting knocked out of the playoffs last year by the Hillbillies, the Tzioni Fisherman swept the Hillbillies by winning game two 12-1.

Top seeded Schar Mitzva (6-0) continued their hot streak vs the Big Kabbalah Brand(2-4).  Schar Mitzva pulled away and never looked back in taking game one 25-6.  The Big Kabbalah Brand was able to get their offense going in the second game, but it was enough to end their losing streak falling 21-12.

The nightcap of the FM Home Loans AFI League featured the undefeated Psycho Bunny’s (6-0) taking on the Ourplace Outlaws (3-4-1).  Game one had an upset alert and the Outlaws kept it close before falling 22-19 in game one.  Psycho Bunny’s went back to regular form in game two shutting out the Outlaws 12-0 in the second game.

Week Four of the FM Home Loans AFI League showed a lot of promise to the teams in the league that the Holy Bowl is up for grabs.  Only four teams remain undefeated as the midway point of the season approaches.  New teams seem to be taking over the baton from top teams last year.  Top seeded Mercaz (6-0) looks to take on the Integramed Thunder Muffins in next weeks Game Of The Week.  Mercaz’s stellar defense will be tested vs a striking Thunder Muffins offense.  Star Wide Reciever Dani Eastman is listed as doubtful for the big matchup.  The Thunder Muffins will be Mercaz’s first real test of the season as they look to keep their winning streak alive.  The stage is set for a critical week five of the FM Home Loans AFI League.