Hungarian Football League kicks off with title rematch

The HFL season starts this weekend with exciting match-ups.

Saturday, the six-time champion Budapest Wolves will visit the DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz, while Sunday current title holder Miskolc Steelers will host last year’s silver medalist, Budapest Cowbells in Felsőzsolca (a small town east to Miskolc).

DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz – Budapest Wolves

Wolves QB Márk Bencsics Photo: Norbert Radó

The Gorillaz are ready to play their first season in the HFL. For this reason, they enhanced their roster with three imports (Victors Allen Williams Jr., Lamarco Crawford and Richard Chimmy Chungong) and some top Hungarian players. Although the Gorillaz will spend their first year in the HFL, they still have the chance to start with a victory against the Budapest Wolves. Head coach Vilmos Grátz may be the key to the first win. He is one of the many Hungarian coaches who can put together a squad in no time.

Photo: Balázs Nagy

The visiting Budapest Wolves had a rough season last year. They struggled with a lot of injuries because the squad entered 4 series (HFL, Hungarian Division I., Austrian Division I., Champions League). Quarterback Márk Bencsics also had problems with his ankle. But now, the Wolves’ signal caller is healthy and ready to take on the Gorillaz. However, it will not be easy to take down the physical defense of Dunaújváros, since the team’s pass rush led by Pál Tanács, is top ranked in Hungary. Bencsics will be in need of a good offense that can protect him.

Miskolc Steelers-Budapest Cowbells

Steelers RB Troy Rice Photo: Norbert Radó

The Miskolc Steelers-Budapest Cowbells match-up on Sunday will be an emotional one for both teams. Last year’s runner-up Cowbells seek vengeance after losing the title against the Steelers. Miskolc kept the Vasyl Jordan-Troy Rice duo which seems to be a good quarterback-receiver combo in the HFL. A.J. Benson returned for another season and Nyíregyháza Tigers’ Ukrainian players also joined the club. New head coach Eaton Demetrius Lamar wants his team to defend the title. He emphasized they have a long road ahead of them, which he hopes, begins with defeating the Cowbells again.

The Budapest Cowbells has the best defense in Hungary due to defensive coordinator Gyula Németh and head coach Karim Trabelsi. The squad has top level safeties and cornerbacks who are able to stop the Steelers’ passing game. The Cowbells do not always score so many points, but they have an extremely strong and physical running game with Péter Cseperkáló and Richárd Roják. Not to mention, 2016 player of the year Márton Czirók is considered to be one of the fastest quarterbacks in the league, even though he is originally a wide receiver.

Photos: Balázs Nagy, Norbert Radó

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