China Round of 16: Shanghai Beacon Wolves, Beijing Cyclones advance to quarterfinals

The Chinese National Football League playoffs have kicked off with the top 16 teams battling it out to qualify for the quarterfinal round.

Despite being a fifth seed coming into the playoffs, the Shanghai Beacon Wolves proved they are true contenders with an offensive explosion in defeating the number one seeded Pandaman. Meanwhile, the Beijing Cyclones took care of business in downing the Shanghai Streetcats in a game that almost wasn’t played due to travel restrictions.

Beacon Wolves continue to roll, romp past Pandaman

Shanghai Beacon Wolves 70 – Chengdu Pandaman 28

The West’s #1 seed Chengdu Pandaman had an excellent regular season, going undefeated in the regular season. Unfortunately, their reward was hosting the 5th seed from the East, the Shanghai Beacon Wolves. After a shaky start, the Beacon Wolves went on an absolute tear to close out the regular season, scoring 66, 50, and 48 points as they won three straight games to make the playoffs.

With a bevy of star players born abroad, including ex-D1 player Ricky Jones of the Indiana Hoosiers, the Beacon Wolves offense was too much for the Pandaman defense. Shanghai jumped to a 54-0 lead as quarterback #22 Tim Gomez threw for over 400 yards and six touchdowns.  Wide receiver #4 Ricky Jones Jr caught six passes  for 245 yards and three touchdowns.

By the time the Pandaman finally scored, the game was essentially already over, and the four late touchdowns by the Pandaman were just consolation and a testament to the Pandaman playing to the end.

The Beacon Wolves advance to the quarterfinals, where they meet the Beijing Cyclones who defeated the Shanghai Streetcats

Cyclones hold off Streetcats comeback

Beijing Cyclones 36 – Shanghai Streetcats 24

The Beijing Cyclones advanced with a 36-24 victory over the Shanghai Streetcats in a game that almost wasn’t played. Strict traveling restrictions put into serious question whether this game would take place, and eventually, arrangements were made for the game to take place in Tianjin.

The Streetcats struck first when backup quarterback #4 Yao Wentao(姚文涛) connected with wide receiver #20 Lu Shuang(陆爽) to make it 6-0.

The experienced Cyclones evened things up on a touchdown pass from quarterback #12 Yang Mu (杨木) to running back #98 Wang Dong (王栋) followed up with a rushing touchdown to give the Cyclones a lead and made it 14-6 following the successful two-point conversion.

The Streetcats were able to cut it to 14-12 on Wentao’s second touchdown of the game, but Wang Dong scored his second touchdown to make it 20-12 Cyclones. A pick-six by the Cyclones’ defense made it 28-12 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Streetcats would not give up, though. Wentao, pressed into action when the regular first-team quarterback could not make the trip, responded by throwing a pair of 60+ yard touchdowns to Lu Shuang to cut the deficit to 28-24.

But the Cyclones’ run game would prove to be the deciding factor. Anchored by Dong, who had over 200 yards on the ground, the Cyclones’ ground game pounded a depleted and tiring Streetcats defense throughout the second half. The Cyclones scored one more time to seal the victory at 36-24.

The Cyclones advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will host the Shanghai Beacon Wolves.

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