Flag Football: Tel Aviv to battle Hasharon for 3rd

It's a battle for third place this week in the IFL as the Mike's Place Tel Aviv Sabres and the Dancing Camel Hasharon Pioneers face each other in, what could turn into, Israel's version of the Ice-Bowl at the Yarkon Sports Complex in Baptist Village near Petah Tikva. Kickoff is set for Friday at noon. The number one concern for both teams is the glaring need for improved quarterback play. With Hasharon (1-5) employing a revolving door approach to the position, alternating between Johan Tynell and Yoni Mazel, neither player has managed to find any sort of sustained flow in their cadences and Tel Aviv will look to pounce on that early. The Sabres' (1-4) top defensive priority will be to force Tynell or Mazel to throw against coverage. When Dancing Camel has had any success whatsoever in the passing game, it has come only when throwing off play-action in favorable run-pass situations. Tel Aviv will try to control the line of scrimmage on early downs to force Hasharon to throw against their two-deep coverage in long yardage situations. If they do this, they should be able to capitalize on errant throws and force a couple of all-important turnovers. On the other hand, the Pioneers have efficiently moved the ball this season when they were able to gain four or more yards consistently on first down. Their ability to stay ahead of the chains should allow them to pass effectively on subsequent downs against line-heavy fronts designed to stop their explosive running attack. If Hasharon can win consistently on first down, they should be able to generate enough offense to give the Sabres problems. Hasharon will, naturally, also have to play to their strength and stick with their ground game as the primary option on offense. After watching Tel Aviv get run through in their past few games for over 100 yards a contest, the Pioneers will rev up their power running game to wear down an undersized front. In an evenly-matched contest, the team that is able to hold their focus and conquer the elements, staying persistent and consistently winning the battles in the trenches, should emerge victorious. Next week's IFL action features what should be the game of the season in the long-awaited clash for first place between the Big Blue Jerusalem Lions (5-1) and the Real Housing Haifa Underdogs (5-2). The game will take place at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem on February 7, at 7 pm.