Trnava Bulldogs capture 2nd Slovakian title

By Ján Polák

The Trnava Bulldogs captured their second Slovakian title by defeating the Zilina Warriors 24-12 in Trnava, Slovakia to win Slovak Bowl IV.

The two teams had split the regular season series winning one game apiece.

Trnava running back Jakub Fancovic scored three touchdowns to pace the Bulldogs while Mario Novak returned a fumble for a touchdown.

For the Warriors, quarterback Peter Banik threw a touchdown pass to Jakub Valko while Valko kicked two field goals.

Fans were expecting a dramatic game and they got one.

Both teams started slowly with not much offensive success. The Warriors drew first blood with 37-yard field goal from Jakub Valko at the end of the first quarter giving Zilina a 3-0 lead.

But Trnava didn’t wait too long. When Juraj Levicky recovered a Warriors’ fumble he gave his team excellent field position. The Bulldogs capped their short drive with a touchdown run from Fancovic and Trnava took the lead, 6-3.

The game continued in this fashion and another lead change came again, when Warriors quarterback Peter Banik kept his cool under pressure and found his best target Valko in the end zone to regain the lead, 9-6.

Trnava Bulldogs RB Jakub Fancovic scored 3 TDs Photo: JP Production

With the Warriros ahead 9-6 late in the first half, Trnava retook the lead as Fancovic scored his second short rushing touchdown giving his team a 12-9 lead at the break.

The second half promised a dramatic finish until late in the game.

Neither offense could move the ball effectively in the third quarter with both defenses playing well.

But late in the third quarter, the Warriors put together a solid drive capped by another field goal from Valko, this time 42-yarder, evening the score at 12-12.

It appeared the game would be won by one score at this point.  The Bulldogs succeeded when Fancovic took advantage of a Zilina fumble and scored his third touchdown of the game. Again Trnava missed the PAT and held an 18-12 lead leaving the door open for the Warriors to score to tie the game and win on a PAT.

But the Bulldogs did not let go of their chance. After the Warriors hurried to the line of scrimmage with the play clock expiring, Banik rolled to his right, but was hit and fumbled the ball, and it was picked up by Mario Novak who raced to the end zone with no time left, sealing the win.

Bulldogs head coach James Sutton:

“We didn’t play our best game, but we are very happy for the Slovak Bowl win. We have still room to improve and it is my job as a head coach to oversee that we do. We will keep working on our team,”

Zilina head coach Milos Harant:

“The first half was quite good on our part, during the break we made some changes but they didn’t work very much. We made a lot of mistakes which cost us the game. We will have a short offseason to get some rest and we will work on improving our team on all fronts for the next year.”

Trnava Bulldogs – Zilina Warriors 24-12 (0-3, 12-6, 6-3, 6-0)

 

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