Quarterbacks shine in debut games as both Flag Football teams fall to LA Adventist

START: Center and co-captain Mati Hurwitz snaps the football to quarterback Jacob Dauer in the first-ever Boys Flag Football game at LACES Sept. 17.

Goldie Fields

START: Center and co-captain Mati Hurwitz snaps the football to quarterback Jacob Dauer in the first-ever Boys Flag Football game at LACES Sept. 17.

By Noah Rothman, Staff Writer

In spite of great passing, speed, and powerful defense, the Shalhevet Boys and Girls Flag Football teams both fell short against L.A. Adventist Eagles in their opening games last night at LACES High School.

It was the first game ever for the boys’ team, which formed last spring and whose members were all playing the first football games of their lives. When the game was over, the team was elated, even though the final score was 18 – 13.

“Many kids go in the backyard and run a two-minute drill with their pee-wee footballs and tiny helmets, simulating the thrill of competitive football,” said co-captain junior Mati Hurwitz. “ I am exuberant to be part of that real game situation.”

Starting their third season, the girls played first and lost 21-6, with junior running back Shoshi Miller catching a pass from junior quarterback Nicole Feder in the game’s final seconds to get the Firehwawks on the boards. LA Adventist is a team from South Central LA that Shalhevet plays also in basketball and volleyball.

Kick-off was at 5 pm at LACES, a public high school located close to Fairfax. The crowd was enthusiastic with parents, teachers, and students, even though there were no bleachers for anyone to sit on.

In the boys game, it seemed as if every play started with sophomore quarterback Jacob Dauer holding on to the ball, trying to make a decision on where to throw it as the rest of the team scurried to find an opening against the much bigger Eagles.

The Firehawks started with the ball. They began with the running game. Jacob threw the first touchdown of the season to junior receiver Max Helfand, making the score 7-0.

Next, with the Firehawks on defense, senior co-captain Josh Einalhori sacked the opposing quarterback. The Eagles then turned the ball over. Jacob then threw an interception, and the Eagles got the ball back. The Eagles then scored but did not get the extra point making the score 7-6.

Shalhevet then had the ball again and Jacob threw a 40-yard pass to sophomore running back Micah Gill. Micah then ran the ball into the end zone, making the score 13-6 with the Firehawks on top.

Adventist then got the ball back and ran it 50 yards for a touchdown, making the score 13-12 with the Firehawks still on top.

The Firehawks then had the ball and came up with nothing. Then the Eagles got the ball again and converted a drive into a touchdown, making the score 18-13, this time with the Firehawks trailing. The Firehawks got the ball again and on the third down, Jacob threw his second interception of the night.

“The first interception I threw, I thought that I had my receiver,” Jacob said. “But the second one, it was third down and I threw it hoping for it to be caught — but was ultimately intercepted.”

At this point it was not looking good for the Firehawks, but with just two minutes left, Shalhevet got the ball back. Jacob threw a series of short-range passes to advance his team downfield.

The Firehawks were about 15 yards from the end zone with only two seconds left. They quickly got the play going but Jacob was only able to make a short-range pass to Mati Hurwitz. Mati was unable to score, leaving the Firehawks with the loss of 18-13.

Science Teacher and Debate Coach Mr. Chris Buckley coaches both the Girls team and the Boys team.

“I am extremely proud that the boys fought every play,” Mr. Buckley said. “Looking back, we had no penalties and got so close to the win. We were up against a very athletic and well-coached team, and with just 10 more seconds we could have won.

“Jacob Dauer threw a great game, and I didn’t coach as well as I could have,” he added. “We have some practice to do but we will win the next game.”

OVERHEAD: Quarterback Nicole Feder evades a sack as she quickly throws the ball Sept. 22 against the LA Adventist Eagles
OVERHEAD: Quarterback Nicole Feder evades a sack as she quickly throws the ball Sept. 22 against the LA Adventist Eagles

Earlier in the evening, The Lady Firehawks had started with the ball and were unable to make anything out of their first drive. Shalhevet then turned over the ball the Eagles scored on their first drive. The score was then 6-0, Shalhevet trailing.

The next time the Lady Firehawks had the ball, junior quarterback Nicole Feder threw an interception, the first of the season. Later on, the Eagles scored again and did not get the extra point, making the score 13-0.

The Eagles then scored once more and instead of deciding to go for one extra point, they attempted two. The attempt was a success and the Lady Firehawks were behind 21-0 with just a few minutes left of play. Shalhevet got the ball and, with Nicole leading, were able to get in position within 10 yards of the end zone.

With only 11 seconds to play, Nicole started the play. She then threw the ball to junior running back Shoshi Miller, who was standing in the end zone.

An Eagles player tipped the ball in the air, at which point Shoshi snagged it, causing the Lady Firehawks to finally score.

“I felt great when I caught the ball,” Shoshi said later. “I was thinking that I was definitely not going to catch the ball and I was shocked when I caught it.”

The Lady Firehawks ended up losing 21-6, averting the shutout. Mr. Buckley had some positive things to say.

“Last year the Lady Eagles beat us 36-0,” Mr. Buckley said. “This year we were only down 6-0 at the half. We didn’t give up any kick returns like last year.

“They were a very talented team, but we scored a nice touchdown right at the end. We definitely have a lot of improvement and will play better next time.”