Guangzhou Holds Off Shenzhen As Playoff Matchups Are Set
Monday October 24, 2016
Guangzhou, China (October 23, 2016) - The Guangzhou Power Built a 19 point lead on the Shenzhen Naja then withstood an 18 point comeback and escaped with a 47 to 39 victory in a game that decided the matchups for the final weekend of play in the China Arena Football League. Even with a week remaining on the regular season schedule all six seeds have been established for the first ever China Bowl which will take place in Shanghai on November 6th.
The Power (2-2) jumped out to a quick start as on the games’ first play quarterback J. J. Raterink hit receiver Xun Da Qiu with a 27 yard TD pass to open the scoring. Two plays later Shenzhen quarterback Dak Britt went deep to Shida Wang with a 34 yard pass to the one yard line. Britt ran it in on the next play and with the point after the Naja led 7 to 6.
The Power would then score the next three times they had the ball. Ratterink found the end zone from a yard out and the quarter ended with Guangzhou up 13 to 7. In the second quarter Lavasier Tuinei caught his eighth touchdown of the season and after a Cameron McGlenn interception, Raterink connected with Cho for his second score of the game and a 26 to 7 lead.
The game appeared to be getting away from the Naja when Virgil Gray intercepted Britt but the Power possession ended with Shenzhen defensive back Terrance Smith returning the favor with his second pick of the season. That led to another short 3 yard TD run by Britt and a two point conversion saw Shenzhen head to the locker room trailing 26 to 15 at the half.
The Naja had the ball to start the second half and were driving but on a first and ten from the Guangzhou 14 running back Adrian Ferns fumbled and McGlenn scoped up the ball and returned it for a touchdown and a 33 to 15 advantage. The Naja would answer with Britt engineering a seven play drive that culminated with Xinhe Xu catching his first touchdown of the game to make the score 33-21 as the two point conversion was no good. It would be the first of four failed two point tries for Shenzhen which proved costly. The quarter ended with fullback Dashawn Johnson using all of his 6’4,” 315 pound frame to run into the end zone for a 40 to 21 Power lead.
The final quarter was almost all Shenzhen as Britt connected with Xu for a second score from 12 yards out. Smith followed with his second interception of the game and Britt would score seven players later from a yard away. The Naja then recovered an onside kick and on the next play Britt when long to Sze Ting Lui who made a fingertip touchdown catch on a play that covered 42 yards. That left the Naja trailing by a point, 40 to 39. Shenzhen tried another onside kick that glanced off a Guangzhou lineman giving the Naja a chance to recover, but McGlenn dove on the loose ball to secure the victory. Raterink then added some insurance with a seven yard strike to Duane Brooks to close out the scoring.
Raterink finished 17 of 28 for 238 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Brooks lead all receivers with seen receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. Britt was the games’ leading rusher with 76 yards on 13 carries and three scores.
The Guangzhou victory ensures that Qingdao (3-1) will meet Beijing (4-0) in the first ever China Bowl to crown the CAFL Champion. The Clipper hold the tiebreaker over Shanghai by virtue of their head to head victory regardless of the results of next weeks’ games. Shanghai will meet Guangzhou in the game between the third and fourth seeds and Shenzhen will face Dalian in the 5 vs. 6 match up.
Britt, 14 of 27, 167 yards, 3TD, 2 Int.
Wang, 3 for 45 yards
Xu, 3 for 22 yards and 2TD
LaChristopher Lee, 2 for 15 yards
Yu Lan Shen, 3 for 35 yards
Lui, 2 for 36, 1TD
Colin Madison, 1 for 14 yards
Ferns, 8 for 49 yards
Britt, 13 for 76 yards, 3TD
Raterink, 17 of 28, 238 yards, 4TD 2 Int.
Brooks, 7 for 57 yards, 1TD
Tuinei, 2 for 49 yards, 1TD
Yu Fu, 6 for 76 yards
Qiu, 3 for 54 yards, 2TD
Johnson, 8 for 28 yards, 1TD
Brooks, 3 for 17 yards
Raterink, 2 for 14 yards, 1TD
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With the official announcement of approval from the China government, the new professional league will be called CAFL (China Arena Football League), and the Beijing based operating company, formerly known as Ganlan Media International, will carry the same name.
“We think this acronym says it all,” said David Niu, the President of AFL Global, the founding corporation based in Conshohocken, PA, USA. “The league, and all of our efforts, are unique to China. We want to highlight the fact that we are playing American-style football, not to be confused with soccer. And we want to emphasize that this is China’s first ever professional league, played by the best players in the world.”
Many of the rosters will feature Chinese players, who have been learning and training for the arena game specifically for over a year, at 6 select Chinese Universities, under the guidance of AFL Global.
CAFL headquarters are located in Beijing, with leadership comprised of senior media executives and sports professionals with an array of government and commercial experience