Games We Play - IFL: Big Blue falls to resurgent Pioneers

The early-season Kraft Family IFL standings are beginning to take shape, with some new blood at the top of the table.

flag football 298.88 (photo credit: AFI)
flag football 298.88
(photo credit: AFI)
The early-season Kraft Family IFL standings are beginning to take shape, with some new blood at the top of the table, after a weekend doubleheader that saw four of the five teams in the league in action. On Friday, at Kibbutz Dalya in the North, the first-place Real Housing Haifa Underdogs remained unbeaten at 2-0 on the season with a 14-0 shutout of the Mike's Place Tel Aviv Sabres (0-2) in a very chippy game that produced only 66 yards of net total offensive from both teams, combined. On Saturday night, under the lights in Modi'in, the host Dancing Camel Modi'in Pioneers continued their resurgence after last year's fourth-place finish by executing their game-plan to perfection en route to taking down the defending-champion-Big Blue Jerusalem Lions, 22-18. The victory for the Pioneers brings their season record to 2-1 and puts them in second place, right on the heels of the Underdogs. After winning only three games total in 2007/08, the revamped Dancing Camel squad is playing with a renewed sense of purpose and has a number of new players with big-play capability that makes the team exciting to watch each time out. For Big Blue, meanwhile, the loss sends the former league-powerhouse to a mediocre 1-1 on the season and the reeling Lions now find themselves in unfamiliar territory in third place. With nine players sidelined, Big Blue just couldn't come up with the personnel to make plays at crucial moments and they were doomed by two ill-timed interceptions that swung the game in Modi'in's favor. The Underdogs, in their contest on Friday, were able to overcome a lacklustre offensive performance by getting eight points from their shut-down defensive unit, on a safety and an interception return for a touchdown by Roey Ziv. Ziv also had another pick on the day and was named the Mike's Place player of the game. The Sabres, with the loss, fell to 0-2 for the year and they find themselves in the league's cellar. While the team continues to show sparks of brilliance at times, the consistency is lacking, and a couple of lulls during a game is all that it takes to find yourself on the losing end. The team from Tel Aviv has a chance this week at a quick redemption when it is on the road once again to face the Blue Sun Music Jerusalem Kings (0-1) in the capital. The Sabres and Kings played to a thrilling 52-40 bout in the final preseason game and this rematch has been on everyone's minds ever since. Kickoff for what should be another entertaining Sabres-Kings slugfest is this Thursday, December 18 at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem at 7 p.m. All fans are invited.