CAFL – Professional American Indoor Football in China

Lou Tilley Previews Super Series Week 5 Matchups


Saturday, October 28, 2016 – Shenzhen, China – Super Series V

Game 1, 2:00 pm, Shenzhen Arena, capacity: 15,450
Matchup: Dalian Dragon Kings (0-4) vs Shanghai Skywalkers (2-2)
Head coaches: Terry Bates / Derek Stingley

TV: iQIYI, Announcers: Sandra Parks, Robert Wang and Wuzhi Lu / ONE World Sports, Announcers: Mick Moninghoff
and Lou Tilley

Shanghai is heavily favored, but will need to guard against the letdown versus a Dalian team seeking their first win. The Skywalkers feature the CAFL’s most explosive passing attack with quarterback Shane Austin (249 yards per game and 25 total touchdown passes) with two of the league’s top 5 pass catchers. Mike Washington, a recent internet sensation with his explosive catch/runs for the endzone (12 TDs) as well as with his entertaining array of dance/celebrations is leading the CAFL with 32 catches. Austin’s “second” option is Shane Kauleinamuku. The hard to tackle Hawaiian has 10 TDs of his own among his 26 total. The Skywalkers will look for some pre-game inspiration from head coach Derek Stingley after a loss at the buzzer last week to Qingdao that knocked them out of the China Bowl championship game. The Clipper never lead until time had expired and a field goal had beaten Shanghai 52-51 in the Super Series benchmark game to date.

Dalian lost their fourth last week, after sprinting to a surprising second quarterback lead on top-rated Beijing at 19-15 thanks to an opportunistic defense that intercepted Lions quarterback Luke Collis. He, and Beijing got the wake up call and ran off 55 unanswered points to hand the Dragon Kings their fourth loss without a win. Dalian’s defense remains better than the record might indicate with one of the CAFL’s all-around best in LB Ameer Ismael.

Saturday, October 28, 2016 – Shenzhen, China – Super Series V

Game 2, 7:00 pm, Shenzhen Arena, capacity: 15,450
Matchup: Beijing Lions (4-0) vs Guangzhou Power (2-2)
Head coaches: Clint Dolezel / Ernesto Pursnley

TV: iQIYI – Announcers: Wuzhi Lu, Datong Wang and Sandra Parks / ONE World Sports – Announcers: Mick Moninghoff and Lou Tilley

Perhaps the best matchup of the fourth weekend of CAFL play. Beijing scored 55 unanswered points after trailing in the second quarter of their game against winless Dalian. League leading quarterback Luke Collis had his first shaky moments in a near flawless season in that first half, but surgically took the Dalian defense apart in the second, competing 10 pf 12 passes for 165 yards. He leads the CAFL completing 73% of his tosses for an impressive TD/inception ratio of 19:2. Collis found a league high 9 pass receivers in the 70-19 win, a high point total in season one as well. Beijing, coached by former US Hall of Fame QB Clint Dolezel has personified the progress of the Chinese players (who are in their first ever season of professional play.) With only one US veteran among the Lions true receiving corp in Collin Taylor, the Lions rely heavily on China natives. Erwin Sennett Wu (21 rec, 4TD) leads a Chinese group that has caught 35 passes in all with 7 touchdowns to date. Their progress has been remarkable. Torez Jones (5 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles) and James Romain key the best secondary in the CAFL. Romain is the league’s leading all-around player seeing frequent action at wide receiver and on kick returns.

They will face a stern test in the Guangzhou Power. The Power, a preseason favorite to win it all, have recovered from two last minute heard breaking losses to win 2 in a row in impressive fashion. With perhaps the league’s most formidable roster of US stars, their defense is stout, featuring defensive back Cameron McGlenn, and linemen/linebackers Tyre Glaspar and Frank Trotter, all candidates for defensive player of the year and All-league honors. Veteran quarterback JJ Raterink has discovered a surprise weapon in massive runner Dashawn Johnson, who ranks third in the league rushing. At 6-3, 315, with extremely quick feet, Johnson not only runs very well, but has discouraged defenders with his bruising rushes. Veteran Derrick Brooks is an explosive wide out and deep threat as well.

Sunday, October 29, 2016 – Shenzhen, China – Super Series V

Game 3, 3:00 pm, Shenzhen Arena, capacity:15,450
Matchup: Qingdao Clipper (3-1) vs Shenzhen Naja (1-3)
Head coaches: Rod Miller / JW Kenton

TV: iQIYI, Announcers: Wuzhi Lu, Datong Wang and Sandra Park / ONE World Sports, Announcers: Mick Moninghoff
and Lou Tilley

On Sunday, get-away day for the CAFL tour, the home teams take the spotlight. Here in Shenzhen, the Naja will be inspired by the home fans to try and pick up their second win. JW Kenton’s novel shot-gun, read option offense has had many moments of success, but needs to play from in front. Too many turnovers and offensive mistakes have forced running quarterback Dak Britt to pass from the pocket, with the one exception of their opening game win over Dalian, in which the Shenzhen offense worked to perfection. This is a dangerous team, as front runners like Beijing and Guangzhou can attest. One of the CAFL’s most inspired squads, the Naja never let up, and like their nickname, will bite you. Ball-hawking veteran defensive back Terrance Smith had a breakout game with two interceptions in a loss to Guangzhou and will be lurking again this week.

He will face another crafty veteran however, in Clipper QB Bryan Randall. The 34-year old who starred at Virginia Tech, has evolved into a great combination as an accurate short passer, deadly long thrower, and nimble scrambler. His 13-yard tuck and run to the endzone last week was one of the most exciting plays of the CAFL season. Virgil Gray continues as one of the league’s best deep threats, but it was the emergence of tall receiver Xavier Boyce (6-4, 235) in the red zone that keyed the upset of Shanghai. Boyce finished with 11 catches and 3 TDs in the thrilling last second win that was capped by China native Cha Ron Li’s field goal as the buzzer sounded to end the game. Qingdao will be looking to develop some run balance in this matchup as it prepares to meet undefeated Beijing in next weekend’s China Bowl CAFL championship game


Click below for the entire Super Series Schedule.…-series-schedule/

About CAFL

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

Contact CAFL