Beijing Lions stay hungry

Updated: 2016-10-13 07:00

By China Daily(China Daily)

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Fresh off a successful debut in Beijing the previous week, the new China Arena Football League (CAFL) staged a tripleheader at the Dalian Superdome on Sunday.

"This story continues to be the improvement of my Chinese players," said Beijing coach Clint Dolezel, whose Lions roared to a 48-41 win over Shenzhen Naja to remain undefeated in the six-team circuit.

"The guys surprised me in our debut last week, and they took another big step forward today," said Dolezel, who chose to build his 20-man roster with blockers and quarterbacks from the US, complemented by Chinese receivers.

Under CAFL rules, four Chinese and four foreign players must be on the field for each play. The Chinese receivers proved their worth in the Beijing win over the Naja, snaring 11 of quarterback Luke Collis' passes for a combined 200 yards and four touchdowns.

Collis, who plays for Dolezel's champion Philadelphia Soul in the US indoor league, had a big day, completing 22 of 34 passes for 338 yards and five TDs. Two of his touchdown tosses were to Chinese receiver Erwin Sennett Wu, who led the homegrown contingent with seven catches for 104 yards en route to becoming the first Chinese player to eclipse the 100-yard mark.

Two more touchdowns were hauled in by Tuohuti Ailiya, who finished with 74 yards.

In the nightcap, with a hopeful crowd rooting for the hometown Dalian Dragon Kings, the Qingdao Clippers took charge late to notch a 43-26 victory and join Beijing in the undefeated ranks.

Dalian started quickly as linebacker Ameer Ismail recovered a fumble leading to David Oku's sparkling 31-yard TD run. The Dragon Kings scored as time expired in the first quarter when quarterback Phillip Garcia connected with Chinese wideout Zhen Ma for his first career major and a 12-7 lead.

The Dragon Kings were still challenging in the final quarter when a sequence of bad snaps proved costly. Under constant pressure, Dalian QB Jawad Yatim was sacked in the end zone by Jake Metz and Matt Moss for a safety. Qingdao quarterback Bryan Randall followed with his second rushing TD of the night to seal the victory.

In the morning opener, the Shanghai Skywalkers (1-1) jumped out to an early lead on the Guangzhou Power (0-2) as quarterback Shane Austin connected with Shuai Liu on a 31-yard strike, but Duane Brooks' 17-yard catch from Power pivot J.J. Raterink evened the score.

Shanghai played a near perfect second half, with Shawn Kauleinamuku hauling in a pair of TD passes and Dwayne Hollis recovering a fumble that led to Liu's second TD reception en route to a 45-32 victory.

The six-city CAFL Super Series continues this week in Qingdao, with two games on Saturday and one on Sunday.

 Beijing Lions stay hungry

The Dalian Superdome hosted a China Arena Football Leauge tripleheader on Sunday. Provided To China Daily

(China Daily 10/13/2016 page23)