The Football Action Continues in China

With week 4 of the American Football League of China season coming up this weekend, we take a look a back at week 3.


Shanghai Warriors 48, Chengdu Pandamen 14

AFLC Week 3 action
The Warriors stormed into Chengdu and put on a dominant display, moving them to 2-0 on the season. Utilizing a highly efficient offensive attack, which is now averaging 8.4 yards per play for the season, the Warriors scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to pull away from the upstart Pandamen early. Quarterback Tim Gomez finished 9/13 for 125 yards and 5 passing touchdowns, while adding another on the ground. Wide receiver Kevin Cook caught four of those touchdowns, finishing with 5 receptions for 102 yards in the process. The Warriors scored 22 unanswered points to begin the game before Chengdu got on the board late in the first half on a 9-yard scoring strike from quarterback  Stefan Daniels to tight end Gordon Guo.

The second half was not much different, as Warriors wideout Qiming Xiao elevated to pull down a jump ball for a 15-yard score. Confusion appeared to grip the Pandamen on the ensuing kickoff, as the ball bounced around in the end zone, and was recovered by defensive end David Schuessler for another Warriors touchdown. Schuessler led the way defensively with 6 tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Daniels provided the only constant source of offense for Chengdu on the day, finishing with 113 yards through the air and 52 on the ground. With the loss, Chengdu drops to 1-2 on the season.

Shanghai Nighthawks 28, Chongqing Dockers 12

AFLC Week 3 action-2

The Nighthawks double wing offense from a bird’s eye point of view

Running back John Taggart led the way for the run-heavy Nighthawks with touchdowns of 1 and 34 yards, as well as a 78-yard kickoff return TD, as they took care of business in Chongqing. Running back Tianshou Zhang opened the game with a 46-yard jaunt down the left sideline, and also scored the final touchdown, a 21-yarder, to clinch the game for the 2-0 Nighthawks. Carsten Chai also replaced Billie Qin at quarterback and completed the first regular season pass for the Nighthawks since nearly a year ago.

The Dockers tried different quarterbacks throughout the game, but could not solve the Nighthawks defense, as Hao Lu, James Fitzgerald, and even former Michigan tight end Carson Butler tried their hand at the position. Fitzgerald finished with a rushing score for the hosts, who remain winless on the season at 0-3.

Guangzhou South China Tigers 58, Hong Kong Combat Orcas 0

In a battle of teams with the longest names, as well as winless records, the visiting Tigers easily rolled over the Orcas for not only their first win of the season, but in team history. Running back Eason Chen had a monster day on the ground for the visiting Tigers, racking up six rushing touchdowns, and had numerous highlight reel runs. Quarterback Haicheng Chen also added two scores through the air.
Defensively Guangzhou dominated as well, picking up over 10 sacks on the night, as well as an interception by cornerback Gray Chen. Orcas quarterback Jonathan Wong spent much of the night picking himself up off the ground, as he was knocked to the turf on nearly every drop-back by the Tigers’ fleet-footed defensive front. Wong hit on a number of short passes, but the Orcas offense was largely sporadic, as its offensive line struggled to contain the Tiger pass rush. They have been overmatched through three games this season, having yet to score so far.

Hong Kong Cobras 20, Guangzhou Apaches 6

AFLC - Week 3 - Cobras v Apaches

As expected, the Apaches gave the Cobras all they could handle in this AFLC South tilt, but just could not generate enough offense to stay in the game. Cobras running back Acton McKenley ran for two touchdowns, the first of which came after Apaches quarterback Xiaoyu Huang launched a deep bomb, finding wideout Jerry Li streaking down the right sideline to take a surprise 6-0 lead.

Cobras quarterback Elias Hammiche threw one touchdown, a jump ball to wideout Thomas Man, and one interception on the day. Defensively, linebacker Ben Wong picked up an interception for the visiting Cobras, and the squad has only given up six points in three games this season. Running back Matthew Bunney received the majority of touches for the Apaches, who were able to move the ball at times, but ultimately could not find the end zone after the first quarter. The win moves the Cobras to 3-0, heading into the South division’s biggest matchup of the season on October 18th, a cross-town clash with the undefeated Hong Kong Warhawks.

Danny Zhang is a Chinese-American college student who grew up playing American football in the Boston area. He has a keen interest in the development of the sport in China, where he has recently studied, worked, and experienced football’s rapid