Hungary: Budapest Wolves survive Cowbells scare, win epic capital city derby

The Budapest Wolves kept pace with crosstown rivals, the Budapest Cowbells in the first half and then exploded for 18 unanswered second half points to defeat the Cowbells 30-13 in the only game played in the Hungarian Football League this past weekend.

The multi-title holding Wolves entered the game needing a win to stay in the hunt for the title in the HFL. However, the Cowbells’ defense put up a real challenge for the home team’s offense with defensive back  Zoltán Golita’s heavy hits and linebacker Csaba Bak’s great performance in stopping the running game. In addition, linebacker Norbert Saliga also grabbed an interception. The Wolves were only able to take a three point lead as a result of Balázs Horváth’s field goal (3-0).

Zoltán Golita’s big tackles gave hope for the Cowbells Photo: László Tenk

The second quarter brought an epic battle between the two squads. The Cowbells scored their first points of the season with wide receiver Márton Mészáros’ 45-yard catch (3-7). Golita could have had a pick six as well after intercepting as pass from Wolves quarterback Márk Bencsics’ and running almost from one end zone to the other, but the referees waved off the touchdown due to a penalty.

Nevertheless, the Wolves were able to get the ball back with when defensive end David Casarrubias recovered a fumble and recovery and Horváth kicked another field goal (6-7). Although linebacker Dániel Bicskei’s pick six gave back the lead to the home team, tight end László Boros’ 22-yard touchdown reception meant gave the Cowbells a 13-12 advantage going into the break.

Márton Czirók’s cathces won the game for the Wolves Photo: László Tenk

After having two crucial drops in the second quarter, Wolves wide receiver Márton Czirók made up for it in the second half, and converted two of Bencsics’ passes (27-13) giving the home team a two possession advantage. Defensive back, David Richardson picked off another Cowbells’ pass in the fourth period leading to another Horváth field goal (30-13), which brought the home team even closer to victory. Although the Cowbells fought hard to close the gap, the Wolves defense stepped up and deflected quarterback Tamás Váry’s passes.

The Budapest Wolves got an important win and continue their race for the championship title. Despite going 0-2, the Cowbells still have a chance against the Győr Sharks to advance to the second round of the regular season.

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.