CEFL Cup: Fehervar Enthroners outlast Prague Lions to win first title game held in 3 years

Hungarian champions, the Fehervar Enthroners jumped out to an early 10-0 lead over the Prague Lions, Czech league title holders, in the CEFL Cup tournament championship game and then held on in a see saw battle to finally defeat the Lions 24-20 in front of a cheering home crowd.

In a game that saw defenses rule, both teams had their share of the lead until Fehervar jumped out in front early in the third quarter and then held on for the win.

The Enthroners defense set the tone from the outset as David Toth halted an impressive opening drive led by Lions quarterback Shazzon Mumphrey after scooping up a fumble and returning it 76 yards for a touchdown.

Enthroners QB Chris Merchant fires a pass Photo: Tenk Laszlo

Two possessions later, Fehervar quarterback Chris Merchant marched his team down to the Prague 35 yard line, punishing the Lions secondary twice with deep passes relying on wide receiver Nándi Tóth. Although the drive stalled, Enthroners kicker Péter Szőke booted a 33 yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.

The Prague offense struggled once again but a booming punt from Adam Žouželka, drove the Enthroners back to their own 12 yard line. The Lions front seven then forced Merchant to fumble, recovering the ball on the one yard line. Mumphrey did the rest and Prague narrowed the lead to 10-7.

With the Lions defense bottling up Merchant & co, Mumphrey and the offense finally started clicking and moved down into Fehervar territory. Then on a fourth and long from the 35 yard line Mumphrey rolled right and hit a streaking Marek Suchy for the go-ahead touchdown and the Lions took a 14-10 lead into the break.

Enthroners RB Levente Toth was a workhorse scoring xx TDs Photo: Tenk Laszlo

The Enthroners came out in the second half fired up as Merchant engineered a beautiful eight play 65 yard drive capping it with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Nandi Toth to put Fehervar back into the lead, 17-14.

Fehervar then capitalized on another Lions fumble as running back Adam Žouželka dropped a handoff at his own 35 yard line. The Enthroners recovered and on the next play Levente Toth simply broke two tackles and rumbled 40 yards to give Fehervar a double-digit lead, 24-14.

Neither team could move the ball effectively after that until late in the period when Mumphrey marched the Lions down to the one yard line. Two plays later, now in the fourth quarter, he lunged into the end zone himself to close the gap to 24-20.

Prague Lions QB Shazzon Mumphrey kept his team in the game until the very end Photo: Tenk Laszlo

Although the Prague defense stiffened, neutralizing the Enthroners keeping them deep in their own end, a booming punt pinned Mumphrey and the offense on their own two yard line. Mumphrey was not done yet though as he mounted an excellent drive, taking his team all the way down to the Fehervar 18 yard line with little time left on the clock. However, on fourth down, under ferocious pressure from the Enthroners front seven, he was forced into a desperation hailmary pass which fell short.

Merchant and the Fehervar offense then took over and ate up the rest of the clock giving the Hungarian champions the first CEFL Cup tournament title since 2019.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!