Lions beat up on disheveled ’Dogs

Haifa’s losing streak now at three as Big Blue takes care of business 26-6 at Wingate.

Jerusalem Lions 311 (photo credit: Adlai Maschaich)
Jerusalem Lions 311
(photo credit: Adlai Maschaich)
It’s quickly emerging as a two-horse race for first place in the Kraft Family IFL... and here they come, barreling down the stretch of what is sure to be a heart-stopping, too-close-to-call-it photo finish!
The Big Blue Jerusalem Lions came prepared for an all-out battle on Friday afternoon at the Wingate Institute and took advantage of a Real Housing Haifa Underdogs squad that was flat from the outset and never really got going in a 20-point pasting that could have been worse for the displaced hosts.
Itai Ashkenazi threw for three scores in the victory while receivers Amichai Bergman and Idan Yaron continued their season-long assault on defensive backs throughout the league by combining for 167 yards and all four Jerusalem touchdowns plus accounting for all 11 of their QB’s completions.
On the other side of the ball, the Lions had an army of defenders who played out of their minds, holding Haifa to a harmless six points w
hile forcing seven fumbles and recording four sacks in a display of domination that got the club back atop the standings with just three games remaining in the regular season. Ben Lemberg (21⁄2 sacks, fumble recovery), Yoni Cooper (12 tackles, 1⁄2 sack) and Scott Eisenberg (13 tackles) all put in phenomenal efforts to buoy their unit and earn co-Player of the Game awards.
The Underdogs (4-4), now losers of three straight and sitting in a tie for third place with the expansion Judean Rebels, have been going in the wrong direction for a month now, ever since toppling Big Blue in the capital in what seems like eons ago.
Friday’s abysmal performance was a perfect example of what has being going wrong with the Northern franchise, with the offense unable to move the chains and as putting the ball on the ground too much, coupled with the once-vaunted defense only showing up for about three-quarters of the plays and leaving itself completely vulnerable on the rest.
With the Lions and Mike’s Place Tel Aviv Sabres now holding identical6-1 records and not scheduled to face each other again (until, maybe…),it will be a tense game of chicken from now until the playoffs to seewho will emerge as the top seed.
Big Blue now has a two-week break before a home-town derby against the Papagaio Jerusalem Kings (3-3) on February 18th.
The Underdogs have no such resting period and need to find away toreverse the recent losing tide in a must-win, place-deciding clashagainst the Rebels this week. Due to the ongoing renovations at theYoqne’am facililty, Friday’s contest between Haifa and Judean will onceagain kick off from Wingate at 10:30 a.m.
On Saturday night in Holon, the Sabres put their share of first placein the Kraft Family IFL on the line when they host Jon Rubin and thecoachless Kings in what has the potential to be a real barn-burner.