Hungary: Cowbells Defeat Steelers, Tigers Open With Win

The Nyíregyháza Tigers handed the Fehérvár Enthroners their second loss of the year in Hungary, while the reigning champion Budapest Cowbells beat the host Miskolc Steelers . The Budapest Wolves also got their second victory in the Hungarian Football League (HFL) by defeating the DAK Acél Gorillaz at home. The TD Store Eagles got their historic first win in the HFL after defeating the Győr Sharks away.

Nyíregyháza Tigers (1-0) 28 – Fehérvár Enthroners 7 – (0-1) (7-0, 7-0, 14-7, 0-0)

Photo: Celesztina Szabó

After a year break, the Tigers returned hungry for victory on Saturday. The squad could not take the field in the first round because the game was postponed. The Enthroners had some experience after their first HFL game, but several injured players were missing from the defense. The Tigers’ offense did everything to use the situation for its advantage and led 14-0 in the half with rushing touchdowns from Ivan Oleksiuk and Brian Gessel.

In the third quarter, Gessel continued to shine and this time he threw to Péter Konkoly for a TD. The Enthroners came back with Patrik Bakonyvári’s reception. However, Gessel was almost unstoppable after giving another good ball this time to Troy Rice. In the last quarter, the two defenses dominated, Antonio Roane (Enthroners) and Clifford Stokes (Tigers) each had an interception. The score did not change: the Tigers held on to win 28-7.

Brian Gessel had a strong day leading Nyíregyháza’s offense (10/16, 193 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 13 runs, 118 yards, 1 TD), while Sergii Budilov (5,5 tackle, 5 assist, 2 TFL, 1 sack,  defended pass) is the one to be highlighted from the defense. Enthroners’ Ákos Szakácsi could not score this time but caused hard times for Tigers’ defense.

Budapest Cowbells (2-0) 25 – Miskolc Steelers (0-1) 24 – (8-7, 7-10, 3-0, 6-8)

Váradi-Király Photo

After last year’s final it was time for the Steelers to strike back on Sunday. Both teams started out good in the first quarter. The game began with Márton Czirók’s reception. However, Miskolc turned things around after Máté Jónás’ interception return TD and Andre Whyte’s two point conversion. In the second period, Kamilló Fóra’s field goal gave advantage to the Cowbells again, but Whyte answered with a questionable touchdown. The replays showed that he stepped out of bounds before reaching the end zone. Nonetheless, Cowbells were at the lead in the break after a trick play: Tamás Váry (QB) handed the ball to Nick Canter (WR), who found Bence Takács (WR) in the end zone. 15-17 at the half.

The Steelers took advantage again with Jónás’s field goal. However, the decision remained for the final quarter where the visiting team got the lead with Péter Cseperkáló’s run and Czirók’s two point conversion. Last season’s runner-up still had a chance to equalize after Whyte ran for his second touchdown of the day. It was Jónás’s turn to convert the extra point, but he missed it, thus the Cowbells won 25-24.

Cowbells’ performance was solid; it is hard to highlight anyone from it. Nevertheless, the trick play from head coach Karim Trabelsi was unusual, but it came in the right time. However, the two quarterbacks, Tamás Váry and Vasyl Yordan did not really shine. Andre Whyte led the Steelers offense and had 19 runs, 143 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Budapest Wolves (2-0) 20 – DAK Acél Gorillaz (0-2) 0 – (7-0, 3-0, 10-0, 0-0)

Photo: Gabriella Kraus

The Gorillaz’s offense had to improve after leaving the field scoreless against the Győr Sharks in the first round. Nevertheless, they had their work cut out for against the Budapest Wolves which put up a convincing performance against the Enthroners. The two teams were sometimes inaccurate during the game. However, the home team led by 10-0 at the half with Péter Lenner rushing for a touchdown, and Ben Lyons kicking a field goal.

In the second half, the same script happened, this time Ferenc Bartos (receiving TD) and Lyons (1 FG) scored, which settled the game. The Gorillaz offense continued to struggle and remained scoreless in its second game in a row this season.

Márk Bencsics (QB) was under continuous pressure by the Gorillaz defense all day, which had two interceptions by Kunó Hollósy and Péter Erki-Kiss. On the other side, the Wolves’ defense flourished also during the game, Kristóf Madarassy and Balázs Ágota had an interception each.

TD Store Eagles (1-1) 23 – Győr Sharks (1-1) 10 

Photo: László Becs

The Sharks got its first win of the season very quickly, but the offense had to improve against the Eagles. In the first quarter, Attila Kövecses’ field goal gave the advantage to Győr. In the second period, the Sharks’ offense had several mistakes and the defense did not perform as well as against the Gorillaz. The Eagles took it to their advantage. András Storcz equalized with a field goal. After that, the Eagles started soaring with Lukács Imre’s punt fumble return TD and Dávid Varga’s run. Before the break, Sharks came back in the game, after Arthur Brown’s touchdown: 10-17.

The Sharks’ defense performed better after a disappointing second quarter, but could not prevent the visitors from scoring again. In the last period, Olivér Wágner (QB) threw a TD-pass to Lamarco Crawford which settled the score. Győr could not answer.

Cody Enman did not perform well, but the whole Sharks’ offense had a hard day. While the Eagles’ defense dominated the game led by linebacker Richárd Oláh (7,5 tackles, 6 assist, 1 TFL, 1,5 sack). Nevertheless, they will be missing one of their key players András Storcz (WR) who had been ejected from the game.



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