Hungary earns solid win over Spain in European Championship debut

Team Hungary notched their first ever win in an IFAF European Championship tournament when they defeated Spain 24-7 in a Group B matchup in Budapest this past weekend.

Head coach Vilmos Grátz’s team won took control from the opening whistle and never let Spain into the game.

After winning the Three Nations Cup last year, Hungary’s goal was to finish first in Group B and their first opponent was a highly experienced Team Spain. The home squad got out to a great start.

After a six-minute drive, quarterback Márk Bencsics rushed 17 yards for the first touchdown. Rookie kicker Balázs Horváth added the extra point (7-0).

Two possessions later, a poor Spanish punt gave Hungary good field position on Spain’s half of the field. Bencsics began connecting with his receivers and found Ádám Elek for a to extend the lead to 14-0.

In the second quarter, the Spanish defense stepped up, neutralizing the Hungarian attack while Hungary’s defense kept the pressure up including snagging an interception with Péter Becs getting in front of a pass, picking it off.

Photo: László Tenk

In the second half, both offenses struggled with Spain making a quarterback change.

However, this did not have an impact on their play execution. On the other hand, Hungary added to their lead. First Ádám Elek returned a punt 65 yards to increase the lead to 21-0 and then Horváth kicked a field goal giving the Hungarians an insurmountable 24-0 heading into the final quarter.

In the last period Tamás Váry took over at quarterback for Team Hungary.

Spanish defensive back Jordi Brugnani intercepted a Váry pass returning it into Hungarian territory. The visitors mounted an excellent drive finishing it with a one yard plunge by Javier Carrasco. Guillem Garcia kicked the extra point, closing the gap to 24-7.

That was it though as the Hungarian defense did the rest. Spain managed to recover the onside kick, but could not move the ball and Team Hungary began celebrating.

Photo: László Tenk

In their next European Championship clash, Hungary will face Belgium on the road, on the 26th of October, while on the same day Spain will host Turkey.

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