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Hand-Off

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Hand-Off
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Author Michael Teitelbaum
Illustrator Ron Zalme
Released October 16, 2008
Book no. 4
Preceded by Home Field Advantage
Followed by Inside Edge

SynopsisEdit

Pablo is new to football, but he already loves it. He's been practicing every chance he gets, memorizing plays, and soaking up football knowledge, but when he gets on the field, his nerves get the better of him, and he just can't seem to get it right. When Joey hurts his ankle in the team's biggest game, Pablo has to take his place as Quarterback. Can Pablo overcome his nerves in time to lead his team to victory?

Summary (Spoilers) Edit

Pablo joins Joey MacAdoo's flag football team (which consists of Tony, Sam, Ernie, and Vicki). He could not wait to play with his friends since he was too busy to play football in the past seasons. The team was glad to have him and taught Pablo the basics of flag football. The team called Pablo, their ‘secret weapon’. After practice, Joey gave Pablo a playbook as he told him to study his plays before their first game. Vicki emphasises the importance of studying their plays and everyone on the team has to do it. Pablo agreed and goes home to study some of the plays which start over being basic going into hard. Pablo assumed that the team was not going to use the hard plays since he hasn't practiced them and calls it a night.

On the day of the game, Pablo’s team played against neighborhood team (the team consists Pete, Arthur, Kiesha, Reese, Ricky, and Dante). However, Pablo’s team was using plays that he never studied before the game. As a result, Pablo and the team both struggled as Pablo was disappointed in himself that he wasn't understanding football well. At the last play, Pablo ended up being the running back and fumbled the ball as it ended up in Kiesha’s hands which result a touchdown. The team lost the game from 13-0.  After the game, Joey decided that Pablo needed extra practice and Pablo agrees to do better and practice.

Before meeting up with Joey, Pablo studies and practices his plays so he would mesmerize them. When Joey arrives, they practice together. Pablo tells Joey how worried he is about messing up as Joey advises him to only focus on himself, not everyone else. He practices more with Joey even switches positions being the quarterback as a practice ( Joey is the quarterback for the team). Joey had a plan to use a “reverse play” where Pablo tricks the other team by pretending he is a running back when reality he is the quarterback temporary. After practice, Pablo continues to practice and studies the playbook to the point that he is ignoring everything else even when Ernie tries to talk to him.

The next game with the same team, Pablo put all his practice into action. He does better even doing the “reverse play” very successfully. However, when Joey decided to do a normal curl pattern and throws the ball to Pablo, Pablo didn't catch the ball as the team lost the game from 21-17. Pablo felt that he disappointed the team again as Joey tells him to keep practicing.

The next practice, Pablo’s teammates talk to Joey on why Pablo isn't playing well at football and frustrated about their loss. Sam suggested that Pablo is psyching himself out too much while playing the game. Pablo overhears them and greets them as they start practice as Pablo’s confidence starts to get better. Tony points out that Pablo may be a better quarterback than Joey but Pablo is simply not interested in taking Joey’s position. He is just happy to play on the team.

The next game (still playing the same team), Pablo plays better and he is confidence until Joey hurts his wrist. While Joey can still play defense, he could not play as a quarterback. Pablo had to take his place which made him nervous but he agrees to take over. Tony takes over Pablo’s positon as a running back. Joey continues to support Pablo while Pablo tries to lead the team to victory. The team was tied 7-7. They managed to make a score by a field goal as 10-7. After the kickoff, Joey pulls Pablo aside to remember his advice. Pablo knew Joey was right. The team ended up doing better as Pablo’s confidence went higher. Pablo pulls one last play that surprised the other team which had Vicki catching the ball. The game is won by 17-14. Ricky joked that Joey may have to fight for his job as quarterback. As Joey agrees, Pablo replies that he will give Joey a couple of pointers.

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