EFAF is followed by IFAF Europe
29.06.2010 Budapest Cowboys
EFAF Challenge Cup semi-final
The first semi-final of this years Challenge Cup was held in Hungary, between the Klek Knights of Serbia, and The Budapest Cowboys. The teams fought for the final, where the winner would face the Istambul Cavaliers –who advanced to the final without playing, because the Cacak Angel Warriors did not travel to Turkey.
The two teams road to the semi-final was very different: Klek Knights beat Hungarian silver-medalist of 2009, Gyor Sharks (39-26) and Istambul Tigers (36-27) to lead their division, while the Cowboys beat Zagreb Raiders (with an EFAF record 78-0), while their other group rival (Bologna Doves) resigned from the Cup.
The Cowboys started the game and –as usual- they started with runs by Andre Bynoe (#32). They got to the redzone quickly, but then missed their chances and were forced to settle for a field goal (Sipiczki’s attempt from 37 yards was good, 3-0)
The first drive showed why Klek is a tough opponent, even though they arrived with only 19 players: their explosive offense tried everything, including reverse, double reverse, wildcat, end around, fakes and other passing plays made it fun to watch for a neutral spectator. At the end of the drive Igor Vukoje (#80) scored after a short pass to the corner of the endzone. After his PAT was blocked, 3-6
Next Cowboys drive was stopped by a fumble, FB Ivan Roczko lost the ball after a nice 25 yard run, the officials ruled that he dropped it before his knees touched the ground. The fumble was cause and recovered by Klek’s Jolly Joker, Vukoje.
The home defense was able to stop the Serbs, so QB Michaletzky was back on track. The Cowboys drive built on Bynoe’s runs, and he scored the TD at the end (PAT is successful, 10-6)
The Cowboy-defense had it’s best performance of the game, Tibor Szucs (DE #92) sacked the QB for a big loss, but after an interception the Knights were on the turf again. LB Peter Adam (#51) –playing almost unstoppable the whole game has put an end to the next Serbian drive after the interception, and even though Klek tried to trick the defenders with Vukoje’s fake punt, the pass attempt was interrupted by Roczko
Passes still weren’t successful for the home team, therefore their next drive was marked by Bynoe’s and Krisztian Rittinger’s (#36) runs, while the TD came after a screen pass to TE Istvan Varga (#43) who was aided by the o-line to score (PAT is good, 17-6)
The 3rd quarter started with Klek’s drive, and with Dragomir Milanovic’s (#34)runs, buta t the end it was Vukoje to score again after a pass. Then he attempted a two-point conversion, and when he was stopped, he threw a lateral to the surprised QB, who managed to run it in (17-14)
The young Cowboys player Zsiros (#88) came this week from the junior team to help the injury-fated receiver corps, and his kickoff-return gave a good chance to the offense yet again. Unfortunately Michaletzky’s pass was intercepted and gave a chance to Klek offense to widen the gap. Their next drive was a very long one with 19 plays, including almost ten from the red zone. The drive was marked by penalties as well, including a crucial roughing the passer after the Cowboys defense was able to stop Klek 3 times from the 1 yard line. After the penalty Bojan Milanovic (#85) caught a pass for a TD and the lead(two point conversion is not good, 17-20)
If possible, the next Cowboys drive was even worse, then the previous one: two plays for minus 50 yards forced them to punt, and Sipiczki’s kick didn’t go too far as well, giving the ball to the away team inside the Cowboys 40. Klek yet again started from wildcat formation, and a pass from B. Milanovic to Dragomir Milanovic led to a TD (Vukoje’s two point conversion was successful to B. Milanovic, 17-28)
Finally the Cowboys started to feel the heat and played what they should have played way earlier: causing hard times for the Klek defense with the spread offense. A long pass to Zsiros followed by two short ones to Varga and Rittinger sat up a rushing TD for Bynoe, and Vary’s two point pass to Racz (#5) made it 25-28 QB Michaletzky was injured during the drive, and the young #7, Vary stepped in)
Time was running very fast, but Cowboys defense did everything to give the ball back to the offense. Peter Adam played a heck of a game, and they were able to force the Knights to punt. About a minute left from the game Vary ran for a first down, and a pass interference gave the Cowboys another one, but then Vary’s pass was intercepted and the only thing Klek had to do is kneel for the final.
The Serbs came to Budapest with 19 players only, but proved that this game is not about numbers. The two teams played a very exciting, tough, sometimes even rough game rich in spectacular plays, and amazing performances by individuals. Both teams have fought until the final whistle, and Klek wanted it better, they advanced to the final in July against the Istambul Cavaliers.