Games We Play: Tackle football: Haifa makes easy work of Hasharon

Led by a balanced all-around team effort and enjoying contributions from almost every player in uniform, Haifa embarrassed Hasharon at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet by a final score of 53-7.

USA football ball 88 (photo credit: )
USA football ball 88
(photo credit: )
The Dancing Camel Hasharon Pioneers will take a mulligan on this one, although they probably wish they could just forget about it completely. In IFL action this past weekend, the Real Housing Haifa Underdogs, led by a balanced all-around team effort and enjoying contributions from almost every player in uniform, knocked Hasharon around the field at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet and embarrassed them by a final score of 53-7. The good news for the Pioneers, who finished their maiden regular season with a disappointing 3-6 record, is that, but for their shattered egos, this loss means little, if anything. Aside from personal and team statistical goals, Dancing Camel entered Saturday's game at Haifa knowing they had little to gain. Win or lose, they had already locked up the third seed in the playoffs and would be facing Real Housing once again with their season on the line in a couple of weeks regardless. But that should not excuse everything that happened in this colossal debacle of a football game for the Pioneers, who were, to be fair, missing a couple of key playmakers in Raphael Bloom and Yaniv Yaron, both expected back for the next start. The Underdogs (6-3) were unrelenting from the opening kickoff. They scored a touchdown on their third play from scrimmage of the game's opening drive and never took their collective foot off the pedal, riding a 21-7 first-quarter lead and scoring 20 fourth-quarter points to punctuate the emphatic statement they intended to make that they go all-out, all-the-time and have the explosive scoring ability to run with the big boys - or Big Blues, as the case may be. Indeed, the 53 points scored by Haifa is the highest tally of any IFL team this year, including Jerusalem whose highest total is a next-best 48. Real Housing also set the league single-game high-water mark for total yards, piling up a gaudy 439 for the day. Quarterback Ori Shterenbach had what was, by far, his best day at the helm getting under the ball on his throws much better than he has all season and completing seven passes for 171 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also was successful on three of six extra point kicks, one of which would have been good from 35 yards. What drove the scoring up, however, was a running attack that seemed The IFL returns this Thursday evening to Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem for the league's regular season finale between the Big Blue Jerusalem Lions (7-1) and the Mike's Place Tel Aviv Sabres (1-7). Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be attended by the New England Patriot's owner Robert Kraft and his wife Myra, as well as a couple of surprise honorary team captains.