Hungary: Budapest Cowbells Steal Trophy from Miskolc Steelers, capture 2nd Hungarian title

More than 4 300 people looked on as the Budapest Cowbells  edged the slightly favored and defending champion Miskolc Steelers 14-10 to win the Hungarian championship at New Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium in Budapest, Hungary.

In a rematch of the 2016 title game which the Steelers won, Budapest took their revenge and captured their second Hungarian title.

Steelers star, Troy Rice could not take the field because of his one match suspension, but he did join his team on the sideline.

Budapest wide receiver Márton Czirók was named game MVP and rightly so as he was on fire for the Cowbells, catching five passes for 95 yards and scoring both touchdowns and giving the Steelers secondary fits. The Cowbells defense had an outstanding game, especially Bence Németh who had five blocked passes.

Budapest WR Márton Czirók was named game MVP Photo: Péter Bratincsák

For the Steelers,  Vasyl Yordan completed 13 of 23 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 91 yards. A.J. Benson had nine receptions for 132 yards. Eaton Demetrius Lamar led the defense with 14 tackles and one interception.

With Rice on the sideline, the Steelers had to find other solutions to keep the ball moving forward. A.J. Benson was ideal as he opened with catches of 16 and 32 yards. After the second, Yordan scored a one yard touchdown with the help of Lesiv Pavlo who bulldozed a path into the end zone for the quarterback to give Miskolc  a 7-0 lead. The Cowbells had an immediate answer. Tamás Váry’s accurate passes and Péter Cseperkáló’s runs put them into a good position. Then Váry found Márton Czirók in the end zone with a 29 yard pass to even the score at 7-7.

The second quarter was all about the two defenses. Németh from the Cowbells had three blocked passes while Ádám Demeterhad one. The Steelers defense was led by Eaton Demetrius Lamar and Martin Szabó who had one interception each. In addition, Yevhen Rakhimov and Dániel Stadler had a sack each. The Steelers led 10-7 at the half after Gábor Sviatkó’s 34 yard field goal.

Steelers AJ Benson Photo: Péter Bratincsák

The Cowbells had a good start in the second half. Cseperkáló’s 40 yard run set the Cowbells in a good field position. Then Váry found Czirók again for another TD. The Cowbells led 14-10 after Zoltán Szentirmai’s successful extra point. The Steelers committed a lot of mistakes in the second half. In addition, A.J. Benson was getting tired as time went by and had a lot of drops. Moreover, the Cowbells’ secondary followed him tight.

Both defenses took over in the fourth quarter. The Steelers managed a field goal attempt but the snap was too high. Budapest managed the clock wisely and they also had a shot at kicking a field goal but the Steelers’ defense blocked it.

With two minutes left, Miskolc had one final chance and they got close, reaching the red zone. But penalties pushed them back almost to the 40 yard line. Yordan was sacked on a 4th and 20 letting the Cowbells take over and kill the remaining time on the clock.

With the 14-10 win, the Cowbells became Hungarian champion for the second time.

Watch highlights from the championship game

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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