Hungary: Tigers demolish Eagles, Steelers earn decisive win over Sharks

The third round of the Hungarian Football League (HFL) continued last weekend with two Eastern team victories. The Nyíregyháza Tigers crushed the TD Store Eagles in front of 1 300 spectators in the Nyíregyháza Stadium  while the Miskolc Steelers took their first win of the season on the road against the Győr Sharks.

Nyíregyháza Tigers (2-0) 59  – TD Store Eagles (1-2) 22 (14-0, 17-14, 14-0, 14-8)

Photo: Celesztina Szabó.

Head coach Thomas Smythe was not fully satisfied with the Tigers’ performance the week before against the Fehérvár Enthroners, despite a win. However, he had every reason to praise his players after the Eagles game. The home team dominated the first half; both the defense and the offense scored two TD-s. Ivan Oleksiuk scored the offense’s first touchdown and then on defense, Max Nedzelskij picked up a fumble returning it to the end zone. The visitors came back with a run by Dávid Varga. However, Gábor Sviatkó’s field goal, Greg Williams’ interception return and Troy Rice’s 90 yard touchdown grab ballooned the lead for  the Tigers. Nevertheless, Rice’s former teammate A.J. Benson answered, thus, not letting the home team pull away: 31-14 at the half.

Photo: Celesztina Szabó.

Nyíregyháza did not stop in the third quarter, as touchdowns from Oleksiuk and Rice settled everything. Then the rookies and the juniors took the field on both sides. Gábor Tóth replaced Brian Gessel at quarterback for the Tigers and did a good job, throwing  a touchdown pass to Clifford Stokes. This activated the mercy rule. Although Dániel Zsila responded with a TD and a two point conversion, the Tigers had the last say. Eighteen year old Miklós Váradi in his debut game in the HFL, after his first snap scored a 60 yard touchdown which put an end to the game. The Tigers gained a confidence booster victory by demolishing the TD Store Eagles 59-22.

Troy Rice (5 catches, 242 yards, 2 TD) and Brian Gessel (11/16, 326 yards, 2 pass TDs) stole the show on Saturday by both becoming leaders of the Tigers offense. On the defensive side, Greg Williams, Ádám Suller, Clifford Stokes and Sergii Budilov all had good days. On the other side, Eagles’ offense was missing their number one receiver, András Storcz. However, Lamarco Crawford and A.J. Benson did everything they could to bounce back.

Miskolc Steelers (1-1) 35 – Győr Sharks (1-2) 6 (0-14, 6-7, 0-14, 0-0)

Photo: Szigetköz Photo Studio

The Győr Sharks had to improve to be able to take on the Miskolc Steelers and give them a hard time in their turf. However, Cody Enman (QB) could not perform as it was expected, thus John Ross Hudson replaced him. The Steelers got a 2 touchdown advantage after Andre Whyte’s and Pawel Lesiv’s rushing touchdowns Although the Sharks could come back with Ferenc Shwarz’s TD, the Steelers got back the their advantage with Krisztián Szabó’s catch. 21-6 at the half.

In the third quarter, Miskolc took the opportunity of winning the game with touchdowns form Andre Whyte and Pawel Lesiv. Máté Jónás scored all extra points, thus giving a 35-6 Steelers victory.

Photo: Szigetköz Photo Studio

The rushing game of the Steelers is still flourishing due to Andre Whyte and Pawel Lesiv, and Vasyl Yordan has also found his form. John Ross Hudson, the Győr Sharks’ new quarterback only had less than a week for preparation but he did well during the game. A fresh news that head coach Troy Baker will not continue his work at the team, and Andres Fernandez took over.

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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