10.08.2008 Budapest Wolves
Wolves Beat Cowboys in a Thriller
American style football in Hungary dates back into 1991 when an exhibition game was organized, suiting up mostly rugby players and military personnel, but in the 17 years since there was no game like the one played Saturday.
Both teams were well prepared, the Wolves coached by Lee Hlavka who has been recently recognized by Ambassador April H. Foley for his achievements, the Cowboys trained by American-Canadian tandem Derrick Demyanick and Andre Bynoe. Both squads were highly motivated, the Wolves playing their first bowl game since 2005 – in recent years the organization played its second team in Hungarian competition – while the Cowboys were set to win the Division I trophy after capturing the Div II title last season.
The first quarter set the tone of the game in highlight fashion. Cowboys QB Bálint Michaletzky found WR Gábor Kálovits on a short in route who broke away and beat the Wolves secondary for a 76 yard TD on the second play of the first drive. After a quick Wolves drive ending in a punt Michaletzky commandeered a 12 play 75 yard drive to run in from 3 yards himself and widen the Cowboys lead to 14 points.
There was no scoring in the second quarter although both teams came close; first an 80 yard return by Wolves defensive back Krisztián Papp was nullified by a block in the back call then the Cowboys missed a field goal after a long drive.
The Wolves came out firing for the third quarter, scoring in the first drive of the second half on a pass from QB Attila Lendvai to WR Krisztián Piros. Tight end/kicker Csaba Majoros missed the extra point, but made up for it by catching Lendvai’s long bomb for a TD on a highlight real escape play by the Wolves QB. Lendvai tried to sneak in for the 2 point conversion but was stopped short by the Cowboys D who have defended the run very well all night.
Going into the fourth both teams knew that they needed to score to put the game away. The Wolves seemed to be taking the pressure somewhat better, the ball was on Cowboys territory most of the final quarter. Matyás Hubay’s interception set up a drive featuring two Wolves QB’s on the field, the very talented 19 year old Márk Bencsics lined up in the tail back spot causing confusion amongst the Cowboys. The drive ended on the Cowboy’s 6 yard line on a turn over on downs and it seemed the Cowboys will be able to run down the clock with a long running drive. The Wolves defense thought otherwise and forced and recovered a fumble by offensive coordinator/running back Andre Bynoe. On their second scoring chance in the period the Wolves did not miss again, the 6’8” Majoros in the endzone was a steady target for Lendvai, who also completed a pass to Piros on the 2 point conversion.
The Cowboys had 1:30 to erase the 6 point deficit and came close on some spectacular running by Bynoe and passing by Michaletzky but the QB was stopped short on fourth down inside the ten yard line. The Cowboys almost had the victory but let it slip away from them while the Wolves squad showed great hart turning the game around and shutting out the Cowboys in the second half.
This game was one for the books, both teams played their best football of the season and showed the Hungarian crowd why football is the most popular sport in the US.