Naja Nip Clipper As Britt Runs For Records
- Updated: October 30, 2016
Shenzhen, China (October 30, 2016) By Mick Moninghoff
Quarterback Dak Britt established three China Arena Football League records with 115 yards rushing, 25 carries and four rushing touchdowns in game as the Shenzhen Naja defeated the Qingdao Clipper 47 to 40 in Shenzhen. Britt also passed 151 yards and three touchdowns as Shenzhen (2-3) handed Qingdao (3-2) its second loss of the season.
The Naja set the tone early as Britt hit Shida Wang with a 24 yard strike to open the scoring. Clipper quarterback Bryan Randall then went to work and tied the game, finding Tian Chu Zhang with a 17 yard strike. Britt closed out the first quarter with an eight yard scoring jaunt for a 13 to 7 lead.
The Naja defense did its part as Elvis Matagi recovered a Jason Holman fumble and three plays later Britt scored his second rushing touchdown of the game. The Clipper would not quit as Reggie Gray’s 23 yard reception put Qingdao down by six. Naja fullback Adrian Ferns then got into the act rushing on five consecutive plays. Two plays later Britt went to the air again finding Zinhe Xu for his first TD catch of the day and a 27 to 14 advantage. Not to be left behind, Gray and Randall connected for the second time in the half and the Clipper trailed 27 to 21 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Clipper tied the game as Randall fired a 16 pass to Zhang. Randall, who was 8 of 15 for 137 yards and 4 scores then gave way to Sean Brackett who was impressive off the bench. The Naja responded with a six play drive which concluded with Britt keeping Qingdao off balance with a 20 yard pass to Xu which found the end zone and a 34 to 27 advantage. Xu led Shenzhen with three receptions for 69 yards and two scores. The back and forth battle continued as Brackett hit Gray with a 14 yard pass to tie the game at 34. Gray finished the game leading all receivers with 8 catches for a CAFL single game record of 171 yards and three scores. The ensuing kickoff was returned by Shenzhen’s LaChristopher Lee 45 yards to the five yard line as Qingdao’s Jake Metz made a touchdown saving tackle. On the very next play Britt ran the final five yards to give his team a six point lead as the quarter ended.
The final quarter opened with Bracket finding Zhang for his third TD reception to tie the game at 40. Zhang finished with three catches for 50 yards and three scores. The Naja then drove 30 yards in nine plays, all on the ground with Ferns and Britt rushing the ball. Britt went into the end zone on a 2 yard run to give Shenzhen a 47 to 40 lead.
On the next play from scrimmage from the 14 yard line, Brackett hit Gray on a play that covered 35 yards, but one yard from the goal line Shenzhen defensive back Tristan Purifoy stripped the ball from Gray, knocking it into the end zone where he recovered. The Naja keep the ball on the ground for the next five plays and ran out the clock for the victory.
The Shenzhen tandem of Britt and Ferns ran the ball 34 times for 154 yards which also set a record for team rushing yards in a CAFL Game. The Naja will now face Dalian on Saturday, November 5th and Qingdao will meet Beijing in the China Bowl title game on Sunday, November 6th.
Randall, 8 of 15, 137 yards, 4TD
Brackett, 5 of 5, 102 yards, 2TD
Gray, 8 for 171 yards, 3TD
Boyce, 1 for 12 yards
Zhang, 3 for 50 yards, 3TD
Baihetiyaer Tuerxun, 2 for 22 yards
Randall, 4 for 6 yards
Holman, 3 for 8 yards
Britt, 9 of 18, 151 yards, 3TD
Wang, 2 for 37 yards, 1TD
Sze Ting Lui, 1 for 6 yards
Xu, 3 for 69 yards, 2TD
Yu Lan Shen, 2 for 30 yards
Ferns, 1 for 9 yards
Britt, 25 for 115 yards, 4TD
Fens, 9 for 39 yards
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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.
For more information please contact the following:
Lou Tilley, VP CAFL Communications and Media
Alvina Alston, CAFL Public Relations