Hungary: Budapest Wolves win title rematch; Cowbells, Enthroners earn convincing wins on opening weekend

The Hungarian Football League kicked off last weekend with six teams in the hunt for the championship title. The Miskolc Steelers played the Budapest Wolves in Székesfehérvár, the Kiev Capitals made their HFL debut away against the Budapest Cowbells, while the reinforced Fehérvár Enthroners visited the fully revamped Győr Sharks.

Győr Sharks – Fehérvár Enthroners 7-31 (0-17, 0-7, 0-7, 7-0)

The Győr Sharks had an awful start to the game. Right at the beginning Ryan Tuiasoa’s kick-off return touchdown gave a great kick start for the visitors, which was followed by György Zách’s field goal (0-10). Finally, the Enthroners closed the first quarter with Patrik Bakonyvári’s grab (0-17). In addition, Fehérvár continued to dominate in the second period with another Tuiasoa TD (0-24).

Photo: László Becs

Although Győr’s offense improved from the third quarter, the Enthroners were able to surge ahead thanks to the Sharks’ poorly performing special teams. Attila Poór blocked Balázs Horváth’s punt in the end zone (0-31). Nevertheless, the home team’s offense would finally score as Matt McRae and Horváth ended the drought for the Sharks. Thus, the Enthroners won 31-7 on the road giving new head coach Jim Ward a win in his debut in the HFL.

Budapest Wolves – Miskolc Steelers 16-14 (3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 7-14)

The most anticipated game of the first round was the Wolves-Steelers title rematch. Nevertheless, this fight between the two teams did not see too many points scored in the first half, with Ben Lyons’ two field goals giving the the reigning champions a 6-0 lead.

Photo: János Gábor Hidvégi

The third quarter was similar to first two, as Lyons kicked  another field goal (9-0). But the last period brought some excitement. The Steelers started to come back after Eaton Demetrius Lamar intercepted Márk Bencsics’ pass in Wolves territory. Andre Whyte’s touchdown and Jeremy Dixon’s two-point conversion brought last year’s runner up back into the game (9-8). However, the Wolves answered with Ádám Elek’s touchdown catch (16-8). Miskolc had only two minutes to equalize. Whyte’s 70 yard grab brought back the hope for overtime. Nonetheless, the two-point conversion was unsuccessful. The reigning champion ran the clock down and won 16-14.

Budapest Cowbells – Kijev Capitals 26-6 (0-0 13-6, 7-0, 6-0)

A new team, the Kijev Capitals from the Ukraine, made its debut in the HFL. But its first game was against the defensively strong Budapest Cowbells. The two squads did not get out to a good start. The visitors scored the first touchdown with Mykyta Kopus’ catch (0-6) in the second quarter. However, the two-time champion Cowbells got the advantage with Tamás Váry’s run and Márton Mészáros’ touchdown grab (13-6).

Photo: Pix by Tomi

Although the two teams both put up a good fight during the second half, the Cowbells extended their lead. Márk Dániel got his first TD catch in the HFL and Mészáros added another touchdown on the scoreboard. Thus, the Cowbells made a confidence booster 26-6 win in the opening weekend of the HFL.

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