The Scheck Hillel Lions hosted the Citi Chrisitian Academy Fire for their Homecoming game on Thursday night, falling 58-0 in a deflating defeat.
Several key players were inactive for Thursday night’s game, including starting Quarterback Ilan Koenig, after being sidelined by a concussion. Star Wide Receiver and Linebacker Daniel Roffe continues to miss time with a torn labrum.
Despite multiple key absences, the game did not get off to a good start. Filling in for the injured Koenig, Liam Senker threw an interception for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, handing Citi Christian an early lead.
The lead would continue to stretch. On Scheck Hillel’s next offensive possession, a fumble on a screen pass play set up Citi Christian’s second touchdown of the night. Throughout the opening half, Citi Chrstian continued to convert crucial onside kicks, dominating time of possession and widening the gap between the two teams.
Late in the first quarter, Junior cornerback Liam Senker made a diving interception to halt an offensive drive, keeping the score at 22-0 in favor of Citi Christian at the end of the 1st.
Citi Christian continued to grow their lead in the second quarter, capping offensive drives with touchdown after touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Junior linebacker Michael Rafalskky was sidelined for the rest of the game after being evaluated for an injury after making a tackle near the goal line in the second quarter. His absence would force Scheck Hillel to play with 10 men for the remainder of the game.
Freshman Michael Stiberman would take control of the offense midway through the first half and finish the game as Quarterback. Stiberman made a couple solid passes in a row, trying to get skill players out in space. But ultimately, the Citi Chrstian defense proved too strong and too fast, returning another interception for a touchdown with six minutes left in the first half. The half ended with a score of 46-0.
One of the lone bright spots on Thursday night included a procession honoring Scheck Hillel’s Senior Student Athletes who participated in Fall sports, including Girls’ Volleyball and Golf. Joey Rimon, starting center for the Lions and lone senior on the Scheck Hillel football team, was accompanied by his brother Daniel and several of his classmates in recognition of the hard work he has put in as a veteran leader of the Lions football team.
In the second half, the Lions defense came out with a heightened sense of urgency, holding Citi Chrstian to just 12 points. However, significant injuries continued to hamper any sort of momentum, with sophomore cornerback David Amselem heading to the locker room after dislocating his shoulder due to a blindside hit in the third quarter.
The Lions defense showed resilience late in the game, considering some defensive snaps were played with just 9 players on the field. Junior middle linebacker Jake Gelb, who contributed 7 tackles on Thursday night, commented after the game about the Lions performance considering they were without so many key players: “The role players definitely picked up the slack. It was tough because some snaps we were just 9 guys out there. But guys stepped in and played out of position to fill the open holes.”
The final score was certainly not representative of the toughness and pride the Lions played with on Thursday night, but it sure does demonstrate the contributions made by several of the players who were sidelined for the Homecoming game.
The Lions travel to Coconut Grove next week to take on LaSalle Miami in the final game of the season.