In a game with zero playoff implications for either team, the Shenzhen Naja and Qingdao Clipper managed to put on an exciting back-and-forth show for the crowd. It took until a Clipper miscue with 1:30 left in the game before the outcome was decided in the Naja’s favor, 47-40.
Shenzhen (2-3) opened the scoring when Dak Britt found Shada Wang for a touchdown early. Qingdao (3-2) responded quickly as Bryan Randall connected with Tian Chu Zhang. Britt rushed for a touchdown as the first quarter ended, then ran another one in after the Naja recovered a Jason Holman fumble to take a 20-7 lead. Qingdao got their composure back and put up two scores to one for Shenzhen before halftime, giving the Naja a 27-20 lead at the break.
Both teams found the endzone twice in the third quarter. Sean Brackett combining with Zhang and Reggie Gray for the Clipper, and Britt throwing to Xinhe Xu for one score and rushing for this third touchdown of the game. The teams entered the fourth quarter with the score 40-34 in Shenzhen’s favor.
The defenses for both teams stepped up in the fourth quarter. Qingdao tied the game when Zhang hauled in his third touchdown catch of the game. The only other score came with 3:47 left, when Britt rushed for his fourth touchdown of the game, to give the Naja a 47-40 lead.
Qingdao worked the ball down the field and came within range of the Shenzhen endzone, Brackett finding Gray on a long throw. Gray fumbled the ball, however, and Shenzhen recovered it in the endzone. Shenzhen was able to run out the clock from there to hold on for the first victory since Week 1.
The result of the game did not have any influence on next week’s playoff matchups, however. After last week’s action, Qingdao had already secured a second-place finish and a matchup with the Beijing Lions in China Bowl I next Sunday. Shenzhen had already clinched a fifth-place finish and will face off with the Dalian Dragon Kings in the 5th/6th place game.