Beijing Proves Its Number One
- Updated: October 30, 2016
Shenzhen, China (October 30, 2016) By Mick Moninghoff
The most balanced team in the China Arena Football League used a balanced attack to defeat the Guangzhou Power 55 to 32 and with the victory the Beijing Lions remain undefeated heading into the leagues’ first ever China Boal next week.
The offense was provide by Luke Collis who threw six TD pass for 235 yards without an interception. Collin Taylor caught three of those passes for scores. James Romain added a scoring reception and a kickoff return for touchdown and defensive back Torez Jones intercepted his league leading sixth pass of the season and a forced fumble to lead the Lions to their fifth straight victory.
The game had all the makings of a classic arena football contest with the teams trading touchdowns in the first half. Beijing struck first as Collis, the most accurate passer in the league completing 73 percent of his passes, connected with Erwin Sennett Wu on the games’ opening drive. Wu, the top Chinese receiver in the CAFL, would finish with five catches for 63 yards. The Power (2-3) answered with Lavasier Tuinei grabbing his first of a pair to scores from quarterback J.J. Raterink. The quarter ended with Beijing leading 14 to 6 with Collis tossing an 18 yard score to a wide open Romain for the wide-outs fifth TD reception of the season.
Guangzhou found itself trailing by a point as Raterink opened the second quarter with a strike to Xun Da Qiu, but the Lions would score the next 20 points to break the game open. Romain returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. The leagues’ best defense then stopped Guangzhou on a fourth and three at the 19 yard line. Collis then targeted Taylor on consecutive plays, the second for 12 yards for his first TD reception of the game.
The next play from scrimmage saw Raterink hitting his tight end, David Wong with a pass which covered 21 yards, but Jones forced his sixth fumble of the season, stripping the ball from the leagues’ first overall draft pick and it was recovered by the Lions Yao Tus Lin. Six plays later fullback Rustin Mayorga carried the ball into the end zone for another Beijing score. Qiu would catch his second TD pass of the game with a fingertip grab on a fourth down play that covered 40 yards. Qiu finished the game with the most receiving yards (104) and the Power trailed 34 to 19 at the break.
Guangzhou continued its comeback in the third quarter as Raterink opened with a 12 yard strike to Tuinei who made an acrobatic grab to bring the Power within eight points. That was when the Lions decided to roar. Taylor responded with his second TD reception of the night. Romain followed with his third interception of the season and the quarter ended with Beijing up 41 to 26.
In the final quarter Taylor capped off his night with his third scoring play. It was his ninth TD catch of the season and the former University of Indiana standout finished with nine receptions for 102 yards. The next series saw Jones intercept an Alex Carder pass. Collis turned that into points as on a second and ten from the 12 he connected with tight end Tian Hao Zhang for his first TD reception of the season.
Guangzhou fullback Dashawun Johnson, the games’ leading rusher (9 carries, 69 yards) closed the scoring with a two yard rumble to make the final 55-32. Beijing will now face the Qingdao Clipper on November 6th in Shanghai in the leagues’ first ever championship game.
Raterink, 9 of 16, 179 yards, 3TD
Carder, 3 of 9, 29 yards, 2 Int.
Duane Brooks, 3 for 24 yards
Tuinei, 2 for 26 yards, 2TD
Yu Fu, 1 for 38 yards
Qiu, 3 for 104 yards, 2TD
Wong, 2 for 28 yards
Raterink, 1 for 3 yards
Carder, 1 for 3 yards
Johnson, 9 for 69 yards, 1TD
Collis 18 of 28, 235 yards, 6TD
Taylor, 9 for 102 yards, 3TD
Romain, 4 for 55 yards, 1TD
Wu, 5 for 63 yards, 1TD
Zhang, 1 for 15 yards, 1TD
Collis, 5 for 34 yards
Chris Dieker, 4 for 24 yards
Mayorga, 1 for 1 yard, 1TD
Click below for the entire Super Series Schedule.
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.
For more information please contact the following:
Lou Tilley, VP CAFL Communications and Media
Alvina Alston, CAFL Public Relations