Chicago Rush game notes
The Quick Facts
TV: NBC ... Eli Gold, Charles Davis, Mark Schanowski
Radio: ESPN Radio 1000 ... Tom Dore, John Jurkovic
Overall Series Record: 1-0
Last Meeting: April 13, 2003 Rush 76, Colorado 58
Coaches (regular season records):
Mike Hohensee (70-64 11th season)
Mike Dailey (60-42 8th season)
Officials: Steve Pamon (Referee), Jeff Carr (Umpire), Brent Durbin (Head Linesman), Tom Symonette (Line Judge), Tony Lombardo (Back Judge)
2004 Chicago Rush Schedule
February 8 Grand Rapids* W 50-30 15,552
February 14 @ New York W 56-54 10,720
February 22 Colorado* 2 p.m. NBC
February 29 @ Indiana* 2 p.m. NBC
March 7 @ Philadelphia 11 a.m. NBC
March 14 BYE
March 21 Orlando 11 a.m. NBC
March 28 Detroit* 2 p.m.
April 4 @ Las Vegas 5 p.m.
April 11 Tampa Bay 2 p.m. NBC
April 16 @ San Jose 9:30 p.m.
April 25 Los Angeles 2 p.m. NBC
May 2 @ Detroit * 2 p.m. NBC
May 8 @ Grand Rapids* 6:30 p.m.
May 16 Dallas 2 p.m. NBC
May 23 Indiana* 2 p.m. NBC
May 30 @ Colorado* 3 p.m. NBC
*Central Division Game ... All times Central
American Conference Central Division
W-L-T PF PA Division
RUSH 2-0-0 106 84 1-0-0
Colorado 2-0-0 98 79 1-0-0
Detroit 1-1-0 91 89 0-0-0
Indiana 0-2-0 88 95 0-0-0
Grand Rapids 0-2-0 67 105 0-2-0
BATTLE OF UNBEATENS: The Rush returns home to Allstate Arena to host the unbeaten Colorado Crush in a battle for the top spot in the AFLs Central Division. After defeating Grand Rapids opening week 50-30, the Rush hung on to beat New York 56-54 last weekend. Colorado had its nail-biter in Week One, coming from behind to knock off Las Vegas 43-42. Last week Colorado defeated Grand Rapids 55-37.
QUICK OUT OF THE GATE: Chicago scored touchdowns on eight of its 10 possessions, blocked an extra-point attempt and came up with a key defensive stand on a two-point conversion attempt in a thrilling 56-54 win over the New York Dragons Saturday at the Nassau Coliseum. Rush QB Raymond Philyaw passed for five touchdowns and rushed for another to help the Rush to its first 2-0 start in team history.
ROAD TRIP: The Rush hits the road the next two weeks to take on the Indiana Firebirds and the expansion Philadelphia Soul. The Rush will be looking to extend its franchise-record four-game regular season road-winning streak.
MUST SEE TV: The Rush posted another strong showing in the TV ratings Saturday, notching a 2.1 rating in Chicago for its 56-54 win in New York up 50% from last seasons average rating.
PHIL-YEAH!: New QB Raymond Philyaws influence on the Rush offense has been immediate and dramatic. Philyaw has completed 32 of 54 passes for 456 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has rushed for 17 yards and four touchdowns in the teams first two games. Most importantly, Philyaw has yet to throw an interception this season, and has guided the Rush to scores on 16 of 18 possessions not including the final possession in each game where the team chose to run out the clock.
DONNIE DOES IT: Donnie Caldwell had a great all-around performance Saturday against New York. Caldwell began the game at WR/DB, but moved to DS later in the game. He finished with 7.0 tackles, one TFL and the only interception Aaron Garcia threw. He also added 95 yards on kick-returns. For his efforts he was named the games ADT Defensive Player of the Game.
WILLIAMS OUT 8-12 WEEKS: Rush DS Greg Williams was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks after undergoing successful surgery February 10 to repair a ruptured flexor tendon in his left ring finger. Williams had two tackles and an interception in his Rush debut vs. Grand Rapids February 8.
LARRIMORE ALSO BANGED UP: DS Kareem Larrimore sprained his right ankle in the first half of the season opener vs. Grand Rapids. After missing last weeks game in New York, he is listed as probable and should return this week against Colorado.
MCMILLEN RUSHING TO 1,000: Rush FB Bob McMillens 43 yards rushing ranks him second in the league behind Dan Curran of New Orleans (49). McMillen, who led the AFL in rushing in 1999 with Arizona, is just 57 yards away from his sixth-consecutive 100-yard rushing season. McMillen also needs just 97 more rushing yards to become the fifth player in AFL history to rush for 1,000 career yards.
HEAD COACH MIKE HOHENSEE enters his 11th season as a head coach in the Arena Football League. Hohensee was hired as the first coach in Rush history on September 26, 2000. He
8 has a regular season record of 70-64 (including a
26-20 mark with the Rush) ... has a career 5-7 mark in the postseason.
8 has led the Rush to three-consecutive playoff berths and a 2002 Central Division title.
8 became the sixth head coach in AFL history to achieve 70 career wins (postseason wins included) ... his 70th win was April 13, 2003, at Colorado (76-58).
8 is 1-0 vs. the Colorado Crush.
All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Coach Team Wins This Week
Tim Marcum Tampa Bay 156 at Austin
Danny White Arizona 123 at Carolina
Perry Moss 86
Mike Hohensee Rush 74 vs. Colorado
Michael Trigg Philadelphia 73 vs. Columbus
John Gregory 72
BIRTHDAY BOYS: The Rush family will be celebrating two birthdays this Sunday at Allstate Arena. February 22 is head coach Mike Hohensee 43rd birthday, while lineman John Moyer turns 29 on Tuesday, February 24.
JUST 12 REMAIN: Only 12 players remain from the Rush squad that finished the 2003 season. A 13th player, Salem Simon, started the 2003 season with the Rush before leaving for NFL Europe.
In addition, only four players remain from the team that won the Central Division title and advanced to the AFL semifinals in 2002.
FIREBIRDS WEST CONTRIBUTE: The four players who followed Philyaw from Indiana to Chicago in the off-season have turned in solid performances in the seasons opening weeks. OS Jeremy McDaniel has recorded eight catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns (1 rec., 1 rush); WR/DB Donnie Caldwell has 9.5 tackles, an interception and a pass broken up; and OL/DL John Sikora recorded one tackle and helps anchor a line that has not allowed a sack. DS Greg Williams recorded two tackles and an interception in the season opener before being injured.
PROTECT THAT QB: The Rush has played two games without allowing a sack of QB Raymond Philyaw. Chicago has become one of the better teams in the league in protecting its quarterback. In 2002 the Rush led the league, allowing only three QB sacks all season. Last season, the Rush ranked fifth in the AFL, giving up 12 sacks.
SACK ATTACK: Although the Rush defense did not record a sack at New York, the Rush recorded three sacks in the opener against Grand Rapids, with James Baron, Riley Kleinhesselink and Jamie McGourty each getting their first sacks of the season. Baron, a six-time All-Arena performer ranks 5th on the AFLs career sack leaders list with 34.5 career sacks, while McGourty recorded his first sack since July 13, 2002 (Dallas).
Here are Chicagos season and career sack leaders:
Player Season Player Career
John Moyer 9.0 (2003) John Moyer 13.0
Anthony Hutch 5.5 (2001) James Baron 8.0
John Moyer 4.0 (2002) Anthony Hutch 6.5
James Baron 4.0 (2003) Riley Kleinhesselink 4.5
Tony Henderson 4.0 (2001) Tony Henderson 4.0
James Baron 3.0 (2002) Jamie McGourty 3.5
Riley Kleinhesselink 2.5 (2001)
TOPPING THE CENTURY MARK: Lineman James Baron has played in 102 consecutive regular season AFL games, having never missed a game in his seven-year career. Including postseason, Barons consecutive game streak stands at 115 games.
Baron has played in more AFL games than any other Rush player. Next on the Rush list for AFL service are Bob McMillen (97 regular season games), John Moyer (66), John Sikora (62), Frank Moore (61) and Jamie McGourty (55).
RUSH GAME AWARD WINNERS: The following Rush players have won individual game awards for their play this season:
Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Game:
Raymond Philyaw (2/8 vs. Grand Rapids)
Lindsay Fleshman (2/14 @ New York)
ADT Defensive Player of the Game:
Corey Sawyer (2/8 vs. Grand Rapids)
Donnie Caldwell (2/14 @ New York)
U.S. Army Ironman of the Game:
Lindsay Fleshman (2/8 vs. Grand Rapids)
DeJuan Alfonzo (2/14 @ New York)
RUSH PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Practice for the week of February 16:
Tuesday, February 17 Players Off.
Wednesday, February 18 12:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 19 10:15 a.m. to Noon
Friday, February 20 10:15 a.m. to Noon
Saturday, February 21 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
All practices will be held at the teams Palatine practice facility, Soccer Enterprise, except Saturdays walk-thru, which will be held at Northwestern Universitys indoor football facility.
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Chicago Category (Rank) Colorado
2 Games 2
53.0 (7) Scoring Offense 49.0 (T-8)
42 (T-3) Scoring Defense 39.5 (2)
273.5 (4) Total Offense 242 (13)
176.5 (1) Total Defense 223.5 (3)
9-10, 90.0% Red Zone Offense 5-8, 62.5%
8-10, 80.0% Red Zone Defense 8-8, 100%
228.0 (12) Pass Offense 229.5 (11)
170.5 (1) Pass Defense 203.0 (4)
45.5 (1) Rushing Offense 12.5 (16)
6.0 (1) Rushing Defense 20.5 (10)
106 (7) Scoring 98 (T-8)
16 (T-5) Scoring (Kicking) 20 (3)
11-206-0 Kickoff Returns 12-154-0
18.7 Kick Return Average 12.8
12-206-0 Combined Returns 17-175-1
17.2 Combined Return Average 10.3
+3 (3) Turnover Margin 0 (T-9)
1-1, 100% Field Goals 3-6, 50.0%
13-15, 86.7% PAT Kicking 11-11, 100%
3-11 Sacks By 2-1
0-0 Sacks Against 1-9
8-11, 72.7% Third Down Conversion 2-9, 22.2%
1-1, 100% Fourth Down Conversion 1-1, 100%
14-93 Penalties (#-Yards) 17-111
15-68 Opp. Penalties (#-Yards) 14-75
Bold Leads League
INDIVIDUAL LEAGUE LEADERS: The following Rush players are among the 2004 AFL league leaders.
Raymond Philaw: average gain (2nd8.44 yards), passer rating (7th126.2)
Lindsay Fleshman: scoring (T-5th30 points), receiving yards (T-9th185), yards from scrimmage (T-8th186), interceptions (T-1st1), interception return for TD (T-1st1)
Keith Gispert: field goal percentage (T-1st100, 1-1), scoring (kickers) (T-5th16 points)
Bob McMillen: rushing yards (2nd43)
James Baron: sacks (T-3rd1)
Riley Kleinhesselink: sacks (T-3rd1)
Jamie McGourty: sacks (T-3rd1)
John Moyer: fumble recoveries (T-2nd1)
Donnie Caldwell: fumble recoveries (T-2nd1), interceptions (T-1st1)
DeJuan Alfonzo: rushing yards (9th26)
Greg Williams: interceptions (T-1st1)
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