Hungary: Budapest Cowbells open with win, Győr Sharks defense holds on for victory

On the opening weekend of play in the Hungarian Football League, the defending champion Budapest Cowbells defeated the newly-promoted TD Store Eagles, while the six time Hungarian champion Budapest Wolves dominated against Fehérvár Enthroners away. The Győr Sharks’ defense held DAK Acél Gorillaz offense in check in Dunaújváros.

Budapest Cowbells (1-0) 26 – TD Store Eagles (0-1) 7 (0-0, 9-7, 8-0, 9-0)

Photo: Váradi-Király

The long awaited Hungarian Football League kicked off with a capital city derby: The Budapest Cowbells hosted the TD Store Eagles.

As usual, the Cowbells’ offense struggled in the first half and could only manage a 9-7 lead against their visitors thanks to receiver Matias Canter (touchdown) and kicker Kamilló Fóra (field goal). On the other side, HFL veteran András Storcz scored a TD for the Eagles and kicked the extra point.

At the beginning of the second half, the Eagles seemed to build up a good drive at first; however, Olivér Wágner threw an interception which led to a scoring drive for the Cowbells: Bence Lakatos caught a pass from Tamás Váry and Richárd Roják ran for the two point conversion. In the last quarter, the home team was able to finalize the score with Péter Cseperkáló’s run, and a safety.

Photo: Váradi-Király

Váry’s (10/23, 195 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) performance was not perfect but it was enough to beat the Eagles. However, cornerback Kevin Nagy’s statistics were impressive with 7,5 tackles, 3 defended passes and one interception. For the Eagles, receiver Storcz had 5 catches, 50 yards and one touchdown.

Budapest Wolves (1-0) 35 – Fehérvár Enthroners (0-1) 7  (0-14, 0-6, 0-0, 7-15)

Photo: Digital Sport

This was not the result everyone had expected. The experts had predicted a much tighter battle between the two teams. The Budapest Wolves simply dominated the Enthroners. In the first half,  Wolves QB Márk Bencsics threw two touchdown passes (Máté Gecser, Kristóf Madarassy), in addition, newly signed Darius Lewis notched a pick six. With the Wolves leading 20-0 at the half both János Zilai and Ryan Seaberg were forced to leave the game, each with an injury. The Wolves’ defense did not have any problems. In fact, Lewis and Balázs Deák got an interception each, while Balázs Ágota and Dávid Borek had also a sack each.

The injury woes continued for the Enthroners: after Máté Gyarmati got an interception, he had to leave the field due to an ankle. injury. In the last quarter, the Wolves’ offense continued its rampage with Péter Lenner’s 30 yard run. Nevertheless, the Enthroners finally scored their first HFL touchdown with Ákos Szakácsi’s 65 yard reception. Under the two minute warning the visiting team added seven more points with Gecser’s second catch and Ben Lyons’ extra point.

Photo: Digital Sport

Bencsics had a good day with a solid performance (21/30, 230 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT). Lewis was a key factor on defense not just by returning an interception but by making several important tackles. The Enthroners will have a lot of problems in the upcoming weeks after losing 4 important players from defense.

Győr Sharks (1-0) 3 – DAK Acél Gorillaz (0-1) 0  (0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-3)

Photo: László Becs

The Battle of the Defenses. That best describes the game between the Gorillaz and the Sharks. Both teams had good moments defending their end zone: Sharks’ Tamás Csizmazia sacked Balázs Krasznai (QB), while Arthur Brown recovered a fumble. For the Gorillaz, Pál Tanács also had a sack, Kúnó Hollósy recovereda fumble, and Péter Erki-Kiss caught one  of Sharks QB Cody Enman’s  touchdown passes.

The second half was almost the same. Csizmazia and Tanács had a sack each. Nevertheless, the fourth quarter was decisive.  The Győr Sharks came out from a great pressure on their own field. Arthur Brown even scored a touchdown, but the referees saw a holding during the play. Nevertheless, Brown, Andres Fernandez and veteran Ferenc Schwarz kept the ball moving until the Sharks were in field goal range. Attila Kövecses did not miss and got the victory for Győr 20 seconds before the end. Balázs Krasznai had a shot for a touchdown, but Fernandez caught the quarterback’s Hail Mary.

Photo: László Becs

Both team’s offenses struggled. Shark’s Tamás Csizmazia was the leader of the defense with 4 tackles and two sacks, while Gorillaz’s Pál Tanács also wrapped up a sack and hurried the quarterback 3 times.

 

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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