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Chicago Rush game notes

February 8, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Chicago Rush News Release

The Quick Facts
TV: NBC…Tom Hammond, Pat Haden, Lewis Johnson
Radio: WCKG, 105.9 FM...Tom Dore, James Williams, Sharon Jackson
Overall Series Record: Rush leads 2-1
Last Meeting: May 30, 2004, Crush 56, Rush 47
Coaches (regular season records):
Mike Hohensee (80-70 — 12th season)
Mike Dailey (71-47 — 9th season)
Officials: Bill Athan (Referee), Tim Morris (Umpire), Tim Podraza (Head Linesman), Tom Symonette (Line Judge), Greg Wilson (Back Judge)

2005 Chicago Rush Schedule
January 30 @ Dallas L, 65-66 11,229
February 6 Philadelphia W, 51-41 16,036
February 13 @ Colorado* 2 p.m. NBC
February 19 @ Columbus 6 p.m. FSN
February 25 Orlando 7:30 p.m. FSN
March 6 Nashville* 2 p.m. NBC
March 13 @ Grand Rapids* 11 a.m. NBC
March 20 New Orleans 11 a.m.
March 27 BYE
April 2 @ New York 6 p.m. FSN
April 10 San Jose Noon NBC
April 17 Colorado* Noon NBC
April 23 @ Los Angeles 9:30 p.m. FSN
May 1 Las Vegas Noon NBC
May 7 @ Arizona 9 p.m. FSN
May 15 Grand Rapids* Noon NBC
May 22 @ Nashville* 2 p.m. NBC

*Central Division Game ... All times Central


American Conference — Central Division
2005 Standings
W-L-T PF PA Division
RUSH 1-1-0 116 107 0-0
Colorado 1-1-0 108 95 1-0
Nashville 1-1-0 81 97 0-0
Grand Rapids 0-2-0 38 58 0-1


TWO FOR THE ROAD: After securing a 51-41 victory over Philadelphia in its home opener Sunday, the Rush hits the road for the next two weeks. First, the Rush travels to Denver Sunday to take on the Colorado Crush in a Central Division battle. Then the Rush heads east for a Saturday, February 19 game at Columbus.

RUSH GETS FIRST WIN: Despite missing three defensive starters – Tony Lukins, Greg Williams and Jon McCall – the Rush defeated the Philadelphia Soul 51-41 last week at Allstate Arena to notch its first win of the season. Rush QB Raymond Philyaw passed for four touchdowns and rushed for two more, and the defense held the Soul on two critical fourth-down plays to get the victory.

RUSH KNOWS HOW TO BOUNCE BACK: Sunday, the Rush continued a trend of bouncing back well after losses. Last season, The Rush went 4-1 after a loss, winning by an average of 18 points. Dating back to the mid-point of the 2003 season, the Rush is 9-2 after losses.

RUSH AND CRUSH SPLIT IN 2004: While the Rush leads the all-time series with Colorado 2-1, the teams split their games in 2004 with each team winning on its home field.

The Rush defeated Colorado 65-35 at Allstate Arena on February 22, 2004 as Chicago set franchise records for rushing yards (56) and rushing touchdowns (6) in the game. Fullbacks Bob McMillen and Jamie McGourty combined to rush for 46 yards and four touchdowns, and quarterbacks Raymond Philyaw and Chad Salisbury each added rushing scores. The Rush defense forced three Colorado turnovers.

Colorado evened the season series May 30, winning 56-47 at the Pepsi Center. Trailing 49-41 with 4:18 remaining, a missed 39-yard field goal by Keith Gispert gave Colorado the ball at its own five-yard line. One play later, Crush QB John Dutton hit Damian Harrell with a 45-yard TD pass to give Colorado an insurmountable 56-41 lead.

HOME COOKIN’: With its win over Philadelphia in Sunday’s home opener, the Rush now has a 23-10 all-time record at home (including postseason). The Rush was 7-2 at home in 2004, including a 59-49 win over Orlando in the AFL quarterfinals.

PHILYAW LOOKIN’ GOOD: After getting off to a shaky start in the first quarter of the season opener against Dallas, Rush QB Raymond Philyaw has looked good under center. In the season’s first two games, Philyaw has completed 43 of 62 passes for 439 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception. In addition, Philyaw has rushed for two TDs. After throwing an interception on his third pass of the season, Philyaw has attempted 59 consecutive passes without an INT.

PHILYAW VS. CRUSH: Rush QB Raymond Philyaw is 1-1 in his career against Colorado, with both games coming while with the Rush last year.

Here is a look at Philyaw’s numbers vs. Colorado:
Comp Att Pct. Yds. TD Int. Rating
36 60 60.0 399 5 0 100.6

Philyaw also has carried the ball seven times for eight yards and two touchdowns against the Crush.

FAMILIARITY BREEDS RESPECT: There are no secrets between the Rush and Crush, as the connections between the teams run deep.
8 Rush head coach Mike Hohensee and Crush head coach Mike Dailey are very close friends, having known each other for nearly 20 years. The pair first met in 1985 while coaching at Montgomery Junior College in Rockville, Maryland. When Hohensee was hired as the head coach of the Washington Commandos in 1990, he brought Dailey with him as his line coach. From 1991 through 1993 the two served together as assistant coaches on the staff of the Albany Firebirds. In 1994 Hohensee was promoted to head coach, with Dailey as his assistant head coach. When Hohensee left after the 1996 season, Dailey was promoted to head coach. Dailey then hired Hohensee as his offensive coordinator for the 1998 season. As AFL head coaches the pair has squared off against each other 11 times in the regular season, with Dailey holding a 6-5 edge.
8 Rush QB Raymond Philyaw began his AFL career playing for Mike Dailey when both were with the Albany and Indiana Firebirds. Dailey was Philyaw’s coach for four seasons.
8 Five other Rush players – DeJuan Alfonzo, Donnie Caldwell, Jamie McGourty, John Sikora and Greg Williams – played for Dailey when he was the head coach of the Firebirds.

HOHENSEE LOOKING FOR THIRD PLACE ALL-TIME: Rush head coach Mike Hohensee needs just one more victory to move into sole possession of third place on the AFL’s all-time wins list. Hohensee, in his 12th season as a head coach in the AFL, was hired as the first coach in Rush history on September 26, 2000. He
8 has a regular season record of 80-70 (including a
36-26 mark with the Rush).
8 has a career 6-8 mark in the postseason.
8 has led the Rush to four-consecutive playoff berths and two Central Division titles (2002 and 2004).
8 is 2-1 all-time vs. Colorado and 5-6 all time vs. Mike Dailey

All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Including Postseason
Coach Team Wins This Week
Tim Marcum Tampa Bay 169 @ Orlando
Danny White 141
Mike Hohensee Rush 86 @ Colorado
Perry Moss 86
Michael Trigg Philadelphia 79 vs. Nashville
Mike Dailey Colorado 76 vs. Chicago
John Gregory 73
GROUND GAME: The Rush ground attack seems to be just as potent in 2005 as it was in 2004 when the team set an AFL record with 49 rushing touchdowns. Through the 2005 season’s first two weeks the Rush has gained 88 yards on the ground and scored six rushing touchdowns. Only Grand Rapids (139) and Nashville (97) have gained more yards on the ground, while only Nashville (7) has scored more rushing TDs.

A VETERAN GROUP: The 2005 Rush 24-man roster features 13 players who return from last year’s team along with 11 newcomers. The Rush enters the season as an experienced squad, with 22 AFL veterans and just two rookies on the roster. In fact, the Rush players have combined to play in 1,140 AFL regular season games, an average of 47 games per man. Todd Hammel leads all Rush players with 146 career games, followed by Bob McMillen (113), John Moyer (82), Travis McDonald (81), John Sikora (78) and Frank Moore (77).

OFF-SEASON MOVES RE-SHAPE TEAM: One bold move – the trade of lineman James Baron to Nashville – helped the Rush re-shape its roster this off-season. Baron was traded to the Kats in exchange for the first three picks in this year’s expansion draft. The Rush used those picks to select three players: WR/DB Charles Pauley (San Jose), WR/DB Russell Shaw (LA) and QB Todd Hammel (Philadelphia). Then, Chicago hit the free agent market and signed lineman Chad Pegues from Dallas to play Baron’s spot on defense, and added AFL veteran defensive specialist Jeroid Johnson. The five new players all made the team’s final roster.

WHO’S THAT OS?: Offensive specialist Henry Douglas caught 19 passes for 189 yards as a backup to Chris Jackson last season in Los Angeles. This season Douglas has caught 15 passes for 186 yards and four touchdowns. He also has returned 13 kickoffs for 281 yards – the most in the AFL. He had 323 all-purpose yards in the team’s opener at Dallas, becoming only the third Rush player (Antonio Chatman, Joe Douglass) to eclipse the 300-yard mark in a single game.

NOSE FOR THE END ZONE: Etu Molden knows how to find the end zone. Molden is tied for the league lead in touchdowns (7) and scoring (42 points) after the season’s first two weeks. As a rookie in 2004, Molden finished eighth in the AFL in scoring.

SHAW STRONG ON BOTH SIDES: New Rush WR/DB Russell Shaw had a solid game Sunday against Philadelphia, catching three passes for 35 yards and recording 1.0 tackle and three passes broken up – including a key PBU in the end zone on a fourth down pass intended for Sean Scott.

CAN’T TOUCH THIS: The Rush offensive line has been one of the best in the AFL the past several years. In 2004 the line only allowed five sacks all season, good for third in the league. So far this season, the line has yet to allow a sack of Raymond Philyaw.

MOYER IN 9TH PLACE ALL-TIME: 2004 AFL Lineman of the Year John Moyer finished last season with a career-high 10 sacks and currently sits in ninth place in AFL history with 29 career sacks. Moyer holds the Rush season and career records for sacks and needs just one more to pass Joe March for eighth place all-time.

Here are Chicago’s season and career sack leaders:
Player Season Player Career
John Moyer 10.0 (2004) John Moyer 24.0
John Moyer 9.0 (2003) James Baron 10.0
Anthony Hutch 5.5 (2001) Anthony Hutch 6.5
John Moyer 4.0 (2002) Jamie McGourty 5.5
James Baron 4.0 (2003) Riley Kleinhesselink 5.0
Tony Henderson 4.0 (2001) Tony Henderson 4.0
James Baron 3.0 (2004)
James Baron 3.0 (2002)
Jamie McGourty 3.0 (2004)

300-YARD PASSERS: Desperados QB Clint Stoerner passed for 398 yards against the Rush in the season’s opening week – the most ever by an opposing QB. Stoerner became just the fifth different quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards against the Rush, joining Donnie Davis, Clint Dolezel, Aaron Garcia and Andy Kelly.

Rush opponent’s 300-yard passing games:
Player Date Yards
Clint Stoerner 1/30/05 @ Dallas 398
Clint Dolezel 7/7/01 @ Grand Rapids 342
Aaron Garcia 3/23/03 vs. New York 339
Clint Dolezel 5/4/02 vs. Grand Rapids 321
Clint Dolezel 3/29/03 @ Grand Rapids 317
Andy Kelly 3/28/04 vs. Detroit 306
Donnie Davis 5/18/02 vs. Georgia 304
Aaron Garcia 6/30/02 vs. New York 303

FB=MC3: Perhaps the deepest position on the Rush roster is FB/LB, with AFL veterans Bob McMillen, Jamie McGourty and Travis McDonald manning the duties.
8 McMillen is the first player in AFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in six-consecutive seasons and just the fifth player in AFL history to rush for 1,000 career yards. He enters his 11th season in the AFL, ranking 4th in AFL history in rushing yards (1,149) and rushing attempts (352) and 5th in rushing touchdowns (65). McMillen enjoyed the best year of his career in 2004, rushing for a career-high 285 yards and 22 TDs.
8 McGourty is the last original member of the Rush, entering his 5th season in Chicago. In his six-year career, McGourty has rushed for 407 yards and scored 38 touchdowns. McGourty also ranks fourth in Rush history in sacks, with 5.5.
8 McDonald is the newest addition to the backfield, signing with the Rush January 10. McDonald is an eight-year veteran who ranks 15th on the AFL’s all-time rushing list with 615 yards. He has played in 80 career games, scored 31 TDs and recorded 92 tackles and 12.5 sacks.

CONSISTENT KEITH: Rush kicker Keith Gispert continues to be one of the AFL’s most consistent kickers. Through two games Gispert has connected on 12 of 14 extra point attempts and both of his field goal attempts. Last season Gispert connected on 95 of 108 PAT attempts and 12 of 22 field goal attempts.

BLOCK THAT KICK: Last season the Rush special teams blocked nine kicks – two field goals and seven extra points. In the season opener against Dallas the Rush continued its ability to put pressure on opposing kickers as lineman John Moyer blocked a Carlos Martinez 22-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the first half. It was Moyer’s sixth blocked kick since the start of the 2004 season (including 2004 postseason).

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES IN 2004: The 2004 regular season featured some outstanding individual and team performances with Rush players leading the AFL in several categories.
8 Lineman John Moyer led the AFL in sacks with a career-high 10 and moved into ninth place on the AFL’s all-time sack list with 28. He was voted the AFL’s Lineman of the Year as well as All-Arena and All-Ironman.
8 FB/LB Bob McMillen led the AFL in rushing touchdowns with 22. McMillen finished the season second in the AFL in rushing with a career-high 285 yards. He was voted to the AFL’s All-Ironman team.
8 McMillen became the first player in AFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in six-consecutive seasons and became just the fifth player in AFL history to rush for 1,000 career yards.
8 The Rush offense gained a franchise record 518 yards on the ground and set an AFL record with 49 rushing touchdowns.
8 All-Rookie WR/LB Etu Molden led all AFL rookies in receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,280) and finished second among rookies in scoring (32 TDs).
8 Mike Hohensee became just the fourth head coach in AFL history to win 80 career games.
8 Chicago’s 11 regular season wins marked the most for a Hohensee coached team. Hohensee won 10 regular season games in both 1994 and 1996 as the head coach of the Albany Firebirds.

REVAMPED SECONDARY: The Rush used the off-season to re-tool its defensive backfield, adding veteran Jeroid Johnson and rookie Tony Lukins as the new starting defensive specialists. Johnson is a five-year veteran with 22 career interceptions who signed a free agent contract with the Rush during the off-season. Lukins originally signed with the Rush in November 2002, but has spent the past two years on the team’s exempt roster while playing with the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Rhein Fire.

RUSH PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Practice for the week of February 7:
Monday, February 7 – Off
Tuesday, February 8 – Off
Wednesday, February 9 – 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 10 – 8:35 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Friday, February 11 – 8:35 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Saturday, February 12 – 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Denver

All practices this week will be held at the team’s Hoffman Estates practice facility, Poplar Creek Sports Centre.
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Chicago Category Colorado
2 Games 2
58.0 (2) Scoring Offense 54.0(5)
53.5 (14) Scoring Defense 47.5 (11)
263.6 (12) Total Offense 275.0 (9)
326.5 (16) Total Defense 308.0 (14)
13-15, 86.7% Red Zone Offense 7-8, 87.5%
7-9, 77.8 Red Zone Defense 47-67, 70.1%
219.5 (14) Pass Offense 266.5 (7)
310.0 (16) Pass Defense 239.5 (9)
44.0 (3) Rushing Offense 8.5 (15)
16.5 (9) Rushing Defense 68.5 (16)
116 (2) Scoring 54.0 (5)
9 (6) Scoring (Kicking) 11 (2)
16-293-0 Kickoff Returns 15-238-0
18.3 Kick Return Average 15.9
1-6-0 Missed Field Goal Returns 1-30-0
6.0 Missed FG Return Avg. 30.0
+0 (T-9) Turnover Margin +1 (T-4)
2-2, 100% Field Goals 3-8, 37.5%
12-14, 85.7% PAT Kicking 13-14, 92.9%
2-4 yards Sacks By 5-20 yards
0-0 Sacks Against 1-2
7-11, 63.6% Third Down Conversion 7-13, 53.8%
1-1, 100% Fourth Down Conversion 0-0, 0%
10-67 Penalties (#-Yards) 15-87
12-75 Opp. Penalties (#-Yards) 8-53
BOLD – AFL Leader

INDIVIDUAL LEAGUE LEADERS: The following Rush players are among the 2005 AFL league leaders:

DeJuan Alfonzo: forced fumbles (T-2nd—1), tackles (13th—11)

Henry Douglas: all-purpose yards (2nd—476), receiving yards per game (8th—93), kick return yards (1st—281), kick return average (4th—21.6)

Keith Gispert: scoring (kicking) (6th—18 points), field goals made (T-5th—2), PAT percentage (10th—85.7), PAT made (T-5th—12)

Tony Lukins: fumbles recovered (T-2nd—1)

Jamie McGourty: rushing attempts (T-6th—9), rushing yards (7th—16)

Bob McMillen: rushing attempts (T-6th—9), rushing yards (8th—15)

Etu Molden: scoring (T-1st—42 points), touchdowns (T-1st—7), rushing touchdowns (T-4th—2), receiving touchdowns (T-5th—5)

John Moyer: sacks (T-5th—1)

Raymond Philyaw: total offense (10th—221 yards per game), total offensive plays (10th—68), total offensive touchdowns (5th—12), total offensive yards (10th—442), completion percentage (4th—69.4), passing touchdowns (T-6th—10), passer rating (3rd—122.2), passing yards (10th—439), completions (7th—43)

Russell Shaw: passes defended (T-11th—3)

INJURY REPORT: The following players appeared on this week’s injury report to the AFL.
Probable - OL/DL Jon McCall (hamstring)
Questionable - DS Tony Lukins (left ankle)
Out – Donnie Caldwell (right knee), Todd Howard (hamstring) Scott Pospisil (right wrist) and Carlos Wright (abdominal strain)

RUSH GAME AWARD WINNERS: The following Rush players have won individual game awards for their play this season:

Offensive Player of the Game:
Raymond Philyaw (2/6 vs. Philadelphia)

ADT Defensive Player of the Game:
Russell Shaw (2/6 vs. Philadelphia)

U.S. Army Ironman of the Game:
Henry Douglas (1/30 @ Dallas)
John Moyer (2/6 vs. Philadelphia)

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