Games We Play: Kings hop a ride on the Rubin Express

Games We Play Kings hop

football jerusalem kings jesselson (photo credit: Rick Blumsack)
football jerusalem kings jesselson
(photo credit: Rick Blumsack)
It's a herd, it's a train, it's...Super-back Jon Rubin! The Kraft Family IFL was treated to yet another game-for-the-ages on Thursday night in the capital, when the Papagaio Jerusalem Kings rode an awe-inspiring running display of unequalled explosiveness - combined with a couple of perfectly-timed turnovers - to a 40-28 victory over the Dancing Camel Modi'in Pioneers in a spirited contest that was up for grabs until the final two minutes. Rubin continued his vicious assault on the IFL record books in just his fifth game in the league, racking up equally preposterous totals of 233 yards and five touchdowns on the ground while personally accounting for enough points (32) to send the helpless Pioneers to a fourth straight loss after a season-opening victory that now seems a full era ago. With the victory, the Kings improved to 2-3 on the season while making an emphatic statement that they can't be counted out of any game with their big-play ability and experienced leadership on defense. Matthew Markman's second interception of the night for the Kings to douse a late Pioneers' rally was the icing on the cake, but the unit was also inspired by Marshall Mullinax's 17 tackles and Shmuel Weisfelds' relentless pressure to collapse the pocket and notch the only sack of the night. Modi'in, on the other hand, seems to be mired in a classic post-title-winning hangover (see: Pittsburgh Steelers '06, '09) that is threatening to completely derail their season. The club's only triumph came against the winless Beersheva Black Swarm, and perhaps even more alarming is the fact that it is difficult to pinpoint what has caused the dramatic and abrupt drop. While the absences of key players such as Jason Gosnel (injury) or Asaf Katz (army) clearly play a role, even when they have been in the lineup, the team as a whole has lacked that certain intangible of confidence backed up by execution that is necessary on all winning sidelines. This week's action in the Kraft Family IFL kicks off on Thursday night in Jerusalem, with a doozy of a contest between the Mike's Place Tel Aviv Sabres (4-1) and Judean Rebels (3-2). The highly-anticipated rematch of an emotionally-charged 66-42 Sabres' triumph in Tel Aviv last month will surely bring out the best in the since made-over Orangemen, who will have head coach Ty Rogers back prowling the sidelines after his two-game league-imposed break. The Sabres, as well, have an opportunity to regain sole possession of first place and are anxious for the opportunity to knock the bitter memory of their tough loss last week out of their heads. It's lining up to be a great one. A real can't-miss for anyone in the mood for a breathtaking winter night of pulsating pigskin action.