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Huge step for the Dukes
The game between the Cowboys and the Dukes had a big question mark: can the Cowboys win, and keep their playoff hopes alive against a team they never beat before? To make it even harder for the home team, they were without the starting QB, import Jack Lydic. He had to travel back to the States for family reasons, and his replacement for this game came from Belgium, another import, Travis Brody.
Analyzing the Dukes Defense, the Cowboys had a whole new game plan. They ran the ball a lot, to soften the defense and to take the pressure off of Brody’s back, who had only two practices with the team. The game plan was working, thanks to running back Andre Bynoe (one of the league’s leading rushers). He delivered a lot of important yards, and moved the chains very effectively. The Canadian player looked unstoppable, and whenever he was not on the field, his two replacements, Krisztián Rittinger and Gábor Jánosi, also did a very good job.
The Cowboys built on the run plays and drove the whole field with it. At the end of the drive Bynoe ran the ball into the end zone. The extra point attempt failed, because the Cowboys played without their kicker and punter, and the replacement, receiver Zsolt Veréb did not convert.
The disadvantage of the missed extra point soon hit back on the home team, because the next Dukes drive finished with a touchdown, taking the lead. The balanced drive was finished off with Rastko Jokić’s run. The Cowboys turned the ball on an interception after that score, but the Dukes had troubles of their own, being unable to play on the same level as in the previous game between these teams. The Cowboys were the first who were able to put up a scoring drive, and Brody hit Bálint Michaletzky that gave his team a 12-7 lead, since they failed to convert going for two.
Things looked good for the Cowboys -- with a first half lead, they pinned the Dukes deep in their own half. But instead of getting the ball in a good position, they surrendered a 93 yard touchdown pass to Jokić, from which they never recovered. Soon after, Zsolt Veréb fumbled and it was 12-21.
With injuries piling up for the Cowboys, including an ejection for Michaletzky, and their coach Wally English leaving the field, the Dukes clinched the deal on a quarterback sneak, for the final score of 12-28.
The Cowboys proved again that they can compete against the better teams of the league -- even if it is still for only 2 or 3 quarters. Just like the game against the Gladiators in Austria, they suffered a loss after leading at halftime. As for the Dukes, it was an important step for them to secure that they will be playing in October -- the playoffs are in their grasp.