Shanghai Takes Third With 57-52 Win
- Updated: November 6, 2016
Shanghai, China (November 5, 2016) By Mick Moninghoff
Shane Austin, the Offensive Player of the Year in the China Arena Football League, threw seven touchdown passes and ran for another as the Shanghai Skywalkers defeated the Guangzhou Power 57-52. Guangzhou (2-4) relied on its running game with Dashawn Johnson who carried 14 times for 63 yards and four scores, but it was not enough.
The Power jumped out to a 6-0 lead on its first possession with quarterback J. J. Raterink finding the end zone from three yards out. It took just three plays for Austin to connect with Shaun Kauleinamuku to take the lead. Kauleinamuku led all receivers in the game with seven receptions for 118 yards and four touchdowns. Guangzhou returned the favor as Raterink hit Duane Brooks with a 28 yard pass to the one yard line on the next possession. The following play saw Johnson burst into the end zone. The quarter ended with the teams tied at 13 as Austin hit Kauleinamuku from 22 yards out.
The Skywalkers would cash in on the games’ first turnover to start the second quarter. Christian Wise intercepted Raterink and then Austin and company went to work. He hit the leagues’ top receiver Mike Washington three times on a drive that covered 45 yards in six plays with Washington, the winner of the CAFL Marty judge Spirit Award, pulling in a five yard scoring pass for a 20 to 13 advantage. The Power then kept the ball on the ground with Johnson rushing three straight times with the last tying up the game at 20.
Guangzhou then attempted an onside kick unsuccessfully with Shanghai recovering inside the 10. A sack by Tyre Glasper and a penalty backed the Skywalkers up to the 19 where Austin was not able to convert, turning the ball over on downs. It took just one play for Raterink to hit Lavasier Tuinei with and 31 yard strike for a 27 to 20 Guangzhou lead. The Power defense then helped as Shanghai marched down to the two yard line but David Wong’s tackle for a loss derailed the drive and the half ended with the Power up by seven.
The Skywalkers added six points to start the third quarter as Shuai Liu hooked up with Austin on a 20 yard scoring pass. The following kickoff bounded off the net and was recovered by Wise giving Shanghai and first and goal at the six. Austin capped off the short drive with a 1 yard run and the Skywalkers recaptured the lead at 32-27. The Power would tie the game twice, first on a seven yard run by Johnson. Then after Kauleinamuku’s third score of the game (a 20 yard reception) Raterink hit Tuinei with a 42 yard bomb to the one. Johnson’s one yard carry tied the game at 40 as the quarter came to a close.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kauleinamuku scored on a pass that covered 19 yards for a 47-40 lead. The Shanghai defense then did its part by forcing the Power to turn the ball over on downs. On fourth and 16 from the six, Willie McGinnis put a hit on Raterink that shook up the quarterback. The ensuing short field resulted in a 12 yard pass to Mike Washington for his second score of the game and 15th of the season. Raterink did return on the next series as he connected with Xun Da Qiu on a 25 yard pass to close the score to 54-46. As the game wound down Shanghai’s Taylor Russolino kicked a 25 yard field goal to pad the Skywalkers lead. On the last play of the game, Raterink would cap off the final drive with a one yard scramble for a touchdown to close the scoring.
Austin, 19 of 23, 254 yards, 7TD
Washington, 7 for 62 yards, 2TD
Kauleinamuku, 7 for 118 yards, 4TD
Liu, 6 for 73 yards, 1TD
Austin, 5 for 16 yards, 1TD
Kauleinamuku, 1 for 6 yards
Raterink, 15 of 24, 218 yards, 2TD, 1 Int.
Duane Brooks, 4 for 42 yards
Qiu, 3 for 50 yards, 1TD
Yu Fu, 3 for 20 yards
Tuinei, 3 for 84 yards, 1TD
Hao Yang, 1 for 12 yards
Johnson, 1 for 10 yards
Johnson, 14 for 63 yards, 4TD
Raterink, 3 for 6 yards
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