Tackle Football 311.
(photo credit: Adlai Maschiach)
Week 13 in the Kraft Family IFL featured a displaced doubleheader in the capital
in which both acts turned into lopsided affairs.
While the Arthur’s Tel
Aviv/Jaffa Sabres’ 48-16 humbling of the Real Housing Haifa Underdogs in the
latenight special was slightly less than astounding, the 40-16 appetizer
smackdown laid by the Big Blue Jerusalem Lions on the Gush Texas Judean Rebels
left most of the 700 frenzied fans at a hopping Kraft Stadium in shock.
game that, coming in, looked primed to be a bare-knuckled brawl for South
Division supremacy ended up being a good ol’ fashioned (Gush) Texas butt
Big Blue played almost error-free ball, coming in with an
air-tight gameplan and executing it to perfection to jump into sole possession
of first place in the division with a much more convincing conquest of the
Rebels than the seasonopening two-point squeaker.
“They’ve been the best
team in the league all season,” said Lions’ coach Yonah Mishaan. “We knew we had
to come in ultra prepared to have a chance to beat them. I’m really glad with
the way things turned out this time, but I have a feeling this great rivalry
For now, at least, Big Blue continued its dominance of the
Rebels, improving to 4-0 in their lifetime head-to-head, and remaining the only
team in the league that has shown the ability to disrupt the Gush Texas
With a mixture of outside blitzes, physical cornerback play, and
plain brute strength, the Lions forced the Rebels into three critical fumbles,
while not turning over the ball themselves.
QB Itay Ashkenazi continued
his sparkling run of late, missing on just six of his 21 pass attempts and
throwing for 191 yards and five touchdowns, three to Idan Yaron and a pair to
On defense, the Lions (7-1) were just as dazzling,
racking up six sacks for 38 yards and holding a vaunted Rebels offense to almost
27 points fewer than its average coming in.
Yoni Cooper (10 tackles, 3
sacks) and Scott Eisenberg (20 tackles) led the way, but there was plenty of
help all around, including a key Kasey Stewart touchdown on a fumble recovery in
the endzone when the game was still tight.
The second game of the night
had a similar outcome, with the Sabres (7-1) taking control of their own destiny
en route to snagging the North’s first-round bye and the Underdogs (1-7) still
staying afloat despite another setback.
In a contest that was postponed
from a week previous due to the closing of the field in Yokn’eam, Tel Aviv/Jaffa
employed a very balanced and efficient attack, scoring six touchdowns with six
different players, three on the ground and three through the
Giovanni Nanna (6-11, 58 yds, TD) and Adi Hakami (7-12, 68 yards, 2
TDs and INT) both had solid games under center for the Redshirts, tossing
completions to nine different receivers and running the offense with precision
The IFL is back to a full slate this week as the
postseason nears, with each team having two games remaining on the schedule. The
Lions and Papagaio Jerusalem Kings (1-7) will do battle in an always delightful
derby on Thursday, while the Underdogs visit the Dancing Camel Tel Aviv Pioneers
(5-3) on Friday in a Sport5 special, before the Sabres host Leo Bloom’s Herzliya
Hammers (2- 6) on Saturday night at their new digs in Neveh Golan.For
more information about the IFL and tackle football in Israel, please visit