Hungary: Budapest Wolves snap Nyíregyháza Tigers’ unbeaten streak, Győr Sharks win in overtime

There are no unbeaten teams remaining after the fifth round of the Hungarian Football League.

The Nyíregyháza Tigers suffered their first loss of the year at home against the Budapest Wolves while the Budapest Cowbells earned a confident victory at Dunaújváros. The Miskolc Steelers struggled but won on the road against the TD Store Eagles, while the Győr Sharks played the first overtime game at Székesfehérvár.

Budapest Wolves (4-1) 32 – Nyíregyháza Tigers (3-1) 26 (3-6, 14-12, 15-0, 0-8)

Photo: Celesztina Szabó

This is a game Tigers’ kicker, Gábor Sviatkó will remember, but not in a positive way as he missed all of his extra point attempts and a field goal try in a disappointing loss.  The home squad scored first though, on Aleksandr Posunko’s pick six. However, a field goal by Ben Lyons and touchdown from Ferenc Bartos turned things around for the visiting Wolves. The give and take continued: Troy Rice’s 57 yard grab put the Tigers back in front, but Darius Lewis responded. At the end of the second quarter, Patrik Panykó’s interception gave the ball back to Nyíregyháza and Márk Benő managed to score for his team: 18-17 Tigers at the break . Wolves quarterback Márk Bencsics did not have a good half, throwing three interceptions.

Photo: Celesztina Szabó

In the third quarter, the visitors bounced back and opened up a two score lead with touchdowns from Bencsics and Alvin Reeles. Lewis made a two point conversion as well after Bencsics’ TD. The Wolves’ defense was able to keep the advantage until the middle of the fourth quarter. But then Ádám Suller recovered a fumble ball in Wolves visitor’s territory. The Tigers came close with Benő’s touchdown and two point conversion, but the remaining time was not enough to equalize or bounce back since the Wolves managed the clock perfectly: 32-26.

The Budapest Wolves offense really had to plan precisely after national team quarterback Márk Bencsics threw three interceptions during one half. Nevertheless, the defense and the special team saved the day for the six time champion. The Tigers offensive line struggled in some parts of the game by not being able to protect Brian Gessel in key moments. In addition, Gábor Sviatkó missed three extra point kicks and a field goal which could have meant overtime for Nyíregyháza.

Miskolc Steelers (3-1) 35 – TD Store Eagles (2-3) 26 (13-13, 14-7, 0-0, 8-6)

Photo: Sándor Zsila

Two well-prepared teams faced each other in Fót where last year’s silver medalist could not fully control the game in the first half, despite getting an early two score lead with Vasyl Yordan’s and Andre Whyte’s touchdowns. The Eagles answered with touchdowns from András Storcz and Lamarco Crawford. Defensive lineman Gábor Gazda put massive pressure on the Steelers offensive line forcing many mistakes. The Eagles turned things around after Crawford’s second TD. Nevertheless, after a turnover battle Miskolc scored twice thanks to Whyte and Mauricio Uribe. 27-20 at the half.

Photo: Sándor Zsila

After a long break due to the heavy rain and thunder, the game continued but the Steelers were able to put the game away in the fourth quarter with Whyte’s third rushing touchdown and Pawel Lesiw’s two point conversion. The home team still had a few shots at scoring, Zsolt Lator even had a reception in the end zone but the remaining one minute was not enough to equalize. Thus, the Steelers won 35-26.

The Miskolc Steelers was struggling throughout the whole game. The offense was able to make big plays and Andre Whyte scored three touchdowns, but they had too many turnovers and mistakes. Despite the loss, the Eagles’ defense did a great job forcing the turnovers, especially Gábor Gazda, who had two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.

Győr Sharks (2-3) 21 – Fehérvár Enthroners (1-4) 14 in OT (0-0, 0-7, 7-0, 7-7, 7-0)

Photo: DigitalSport

Sharks head coach Andres Fernandez had some time to work with his team and with the new players the team has improved. However, after the first half the Enthroners had the lead on quarterback Márk Erős’ touchdown. At the end of the second quarter, the home team could have doubled its lead but Sharks defensive back Damante Horton intercepted an Erős pass.

Győr equalized in the third period with Eric Poindexter’s run. The two teams then played an action-packed fourth quarter, where the Enthroners pulled in front again, after Antonio Roane’s touchdown. Then came a turnover battle, during which Máté Gyarmati recovered a fumble after the kick-off. But the Sharks got the ball back on an interception by Horton. The visitors bounced back and Andres Fernandez was able to score. The home team still had some time to retake the advantage but Horton intercepted an Erős pass in the end zone.

Photo: DigitalSport

In overtime, the Sharks scored first on a catch by Fernandez. The Enthroners had a chance to answer but Erős threw his fourth interception of the game to Horton. 21-14: an epic overtime win for the Sharks.

The Enthroners defense seemed solid throughout the game; but Erős did not have a good game, despite scoring a TD for his team. On the other side, the Sharks offense improved having only one turnover compared to the last few games, while Damante Horton had an outstanding game with four interceptions.

Budapest Cowbells (4-1) 42 – DAK Acél Gorillaz (0-5) 6 (14-0, 14-3, 14-0, 0-3)

Photo: Váradi-Király Photo

The reigning champion’s offense may have struggled the week before against the Fehérvár Enthroners, but was solid against the Gorillaz on the road. Quarterback Márton Czirók showed off his skills by throwing three touchdown passes: two to receiver Bence Takács and one to tight end László Boros. Takács also had a punt return TD in the first quarter. The Gorillaz offense struggled again and only József Beretka was able to score kicking a field goal: 28-3 at the half.

The Cowbells activated the mercy rule after Márton Czirók rushed for two touchdowns. In the last quarter, Dunaújváros’ offense seemed to be making some progress; nevertheless, the Cowbells defense held them to a field goal. Thus, the champions gained a confidence booster with a 42-6 victory few matches before the playoffs.

Photo: Váradi-Király Photo

Both the offense and defense of the Cowbells had outstanding games. Especially quarterback Márton Czirók who threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more. In addition, Bence Takács also added three more touchdowns and the defense collected two interceptions by Márton Németh and Kevin Nagy.

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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