China: East and South head to midway point after a competitive 2nd round

After an exciting series of games on the August 27th-28th and the September 3rd-4th weekends, three of the CNFL’s North, East, and South divisions have reached the halfway point of the 2022 season.

North Division:

Beijing Cyclones 42 – Tianjin Black Sails 0

In Beijing, the Cyclones easily took care of the Black Sails, who, due to travel restrictions, were forced to come to Beijing without several key starters.

Shenyang Spartans 21 – Peking Watchers 0 (Watchers forfeit)

Sadly, a second game in the North ended in forfeit after the Tianjin Pirates forfeited their game against the Changchun Icebreakers, as increasingly more onerous traveling restrictions meant the Watchers could not leave Beijing.

East Division:

Shanghai Titans 47 – Shanghai Warriors 16

In a rematch years in the making, the Shanghai Titans came out on top, smashing the Warriors 47-16. The Titans jumped out to a 33-0 lead on the strength of a pair of long touchdown passes by the CNFL’s elder statesman, QB #9 Datong Wang, and a massive offensive line anchored by LT#73 Joshua Robinson and cruised from there.

Hangzhou Ospreys 47 – Xuzhou Chuhan 6

In Xuzhou, the visiting Hangzhou Ospreys overwhelmed the Xuzhou Chuhan, winning 47-6. The Osprey ground game got untracked early behind RB #18 Shi Jiliang (施佶良), and the veteran Osprey team overwhelmed the newcomers. Despite being down 47-0, the Chuhan refused to quit and were rewarded as WR #10 Chen Zhihang(陈志航) scored the Chuhan’s first-ever touchdown in league play to mark a notable achievement for the Chuhan.

Hangzhou Smilodons 13 – Nanjing Tigers 0

On the other hand, the other Hangzhou team, the Hangzhou Smilodons, returned to their roots and defeated the Nanjing Tigers in a low-scoring game in the rain that essentially came down to execution. In a game that featured multiple goal line stops as both teams largely abandoned the passing game, the Smilodon defense bared their fangs, coming up with three safeties.

Shanghai Nighthawks 30 – Shanghai Wolves 20

In a dramatic reversal from their first game, the Shanghai Nighthawks bounced back from their opening game loss thanks to their defense. The Nighthawks were able to get their running game going, and a pair of interception returns for touchdowns, a stark reversal from their season opener, were enough to keep the high-powered Wolves offense at bay.

Shanghai Streetcats 54 – Suzhou Blue Knights 18

The Shanghai Streetcats moved to 2-0 on the season with a dominant performance against the Blue Knights. The highlight of the day was Streetcats Defensive End #99 Abel was able to deflect a Suzhou pass off the Quarterback and somehow went right back to Abel himself for a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown.

South Division:

Guangzhou Goats 15 Guangzhou Apaches 14

In a match of teams from the same city, the Guangzhou Goats came out on top 15-14. The teams had played earlier this year during the South China Bowl, and the Goats won by 4 points. This time the game was even closer as the Goats pulled out an exciting 1-point victory thanks to a few key plays on special teams, including a blocked punt, a fake kick, and the game-winning field goal.

Gun Cavalry 14 – Foshan South China Tigers 8

In Foshan, the Gun Cavalry won a pivotal road game as they outlasted Foshan in a low-scoring affair. Both defenses came up big today, as each defense forced multiple turnovers. The difference was that the Gun Cavalry’s offense scored a 2nd time while Foshan’s offense stagnated throughout most of the game.

Wuhan Spicy 21 Shenzhen Buffaloes 0 (Buffalos forfeit)

Unfortunately, the Buffaloes were unable to make the trip to Wuhan, and as a result, the game resulted in forfeit.

Two games down, two more to go! Some divisions have clear-cut favorites, while chaos has taken root in other divisions where the teams are far more evenly matched. With only two games to go before playoffs, the division races are only beginning to heat up as the weather in China starts to cool after the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Allen Hu is a Chinese-American who grew up playing American Football in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He primarily spends his time in both the United States and China