Final Showdowns for the Remaining Playoff Spots in Hungarian Football League

Three days, three games and every one of them has something at stake in the final weekend of play in the Hungarian Football League. On Saturday  June 3, the Eger Heroes will battle the Miskolc Steelers at home for the number one seed. On Sunday, the Győr Sharks will visit the Budapest Wolves to fight for one playoff spot, while on Monday the DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz will host the Budapest Cowbells for the other remaining spot.

Eger Heroes (3-1) – Miskolc Steelers (4-0) (in Felsőtárkány)

Photo: András Pazár

The Heroes still have a chance to become number one seed in the regular season. All they have to do is beat the Steelers. The team’s form is getting better game by game. Last time against the Gorillaz, quarterback Khalid Ali put up a great performance by throwing two touchdown passes. In addition, Kali Rashaad seems to be fitting in quite well. He was one of the leading figures of the secondary besides Norbert Petrény. Moreover, Rashaad scored 2 touchdowns in two games.

Troy Rice became a leading figure of the Steelers’ offense besides Vasyl Yordan. His two touchdowns saved Miskolc against the Győr Sharks in the last game. However, the reigning champion had a sloppy start last time. The Steelers cannot afford this again against the Heroes if they want to finish first in the regular season. Nevertheless, before the game head coach Eaton Demetrius Lamar stated that the Heroes-Steelers match-up is growing into a big eastern countryside derby in Hungary. Hopefully, Saturday’s game will live up to the expectation.

Budapest Wolves (1-3) – Győr Sharks (1-3) (in Budapest)

Photo: András Pazár

There is a big pressure on the six time champion. If the Wolves lose, this will be the second time in a row that they cannot make the playoffs in the Hungarian Football League. If they win their season is saved. Ádám Elek and Márk Bencsics are doing a great job in the offense; however, it does not seem to be enough. The Wolves’ defense has to improve since it has surrendered the most points (104) in the HFL’s current season. Still, they are fourth on the table, which is a playoff spot but the Győr Sharks will be a dangerous opponent.

The Sharks are improving rapidly. They beat the Gorillaz at home, and then lost a tight game against the Steelers in Felsőzsolca. Arthur Brown’s presence on both the defense and the offense gives a boost to the team. Not to mention Andres Fernandez who is all over the field in every match. Phillip Garcia might have a lot of difficulties because he will face a strong secondary. Nevertheless, his physicality in the running plays brought a lot of first downs for the Sharks.

DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz (1-3) – Budapest Cowbells (2-2) (in Dunaújváros)

Photo: Váradi-Király Fotó

This is a classic match-up in Hungary. The head coaches know each other very well, thus, it will be a very challenging game for both of them. In addition, these two squads have a very strong and physical defense. Nevertheless, the Gorillaz offense needs to improve since it only scored one touchdown in the last three games. If Dunaújváros wants to make the playoffs the offense has to score. The home crowd will surely push them forward on Monday.

The Cowbells have the advantage though. They are third after winning the capital city derby against the Wolves and the players do not have that much pressure on their shoulders. The offense started to improve after quarterback Tamás Váry took over from Márton Czirók. Czirók could go back to playing wide receiver again which opens new doors for head coach Karim Trabelsi in offense. This might be a great timing for the Cowbells because they can still lose their playoff spot.

Laszlo Makranczi
László Makranczi is a radio reporter, announcer and American Football journalist in Hungary. He lives in Debrecen and works for the Hungarian American Football Federation. Studied at the University of Debrecen, got a master’s degree in American Studies and he also has another degree in sports journalism. Currently, he is the press manager of the local team Gladiators and supports the Seattle Seahawks.
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