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Chicago Rush game notes

April 26, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Chicago Rush News Release

The Quick Facts
TV: NBC…Bob Papa, Ray Bentley, Marty Snider
Radio: WCKG, 105.9 FM ... Tom Dore, James “Big Cat” Williams, Sharon Jackson
Overall Series Record: Rush leads 3-0, (2-0 vs. Las Vegas Gladiators, 1-0 vs. New Jersey Gladiators)
Last Meeting: April 4, 2004, Rush 57, Gladiators 55
Coaches (regular season records):
Mike Hohensee (86-74 — 12th season)
Ron James (7-5 — 1st season)
Officials: David Lambros (Referee), Paul King (Umpire), Rod Pearson (Head Linesman), Brian Matthew (Line Judge), David Cutaia (Back Judge)

2005 Chicago Rush Schedule
January 30 @ Dallas L (OT), 65-66 11,229
February 6 Philadelphia W, 51-41 16,036
February 13 @ Colorado* W, 51-48 16,620
February 19 @ Columbus L, 39-52 17,171
February 25 Orlando L, 35-48 14,126
March 6 Nashville* W, 45-38 15,881
March 13 @ Grand Rapids* W, 48-45 8,110
March 20 New Orleans L (OT), 40-46 13,614
March 27 BYE
April 2 @ New York W, 44-43 11,719
April 10 San Jose W, 55-39 14,865
April 17 Colorado* W, 75-51 12,953
April 23 @ Los Angeles L, 49-52 11,904
May 1 Las Vegas Noon NBC
May 6 @ 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
Colorado 8-4-0 678 645 2-2
RUSH 7-5-0 597 569 4-0
Nashville 4-7-1 487 530 1-2
Grand Rapids 1-11-0 548 721 0-3


PLAYOFF PUSH: A wild-card spot in the playoffs is on the line this week when the Rush and Las Vegas Gladiators meet at Allstate Arena. Both teams sport identical 7-5 records and are locked in a three-way tie with Los Angeles (7-5) for the final two wild-card spots in the American Conference – Colorado and San Jose currently lead the Central and Western Divisions and therefore would receive automatic berths into the playoffs. The Rush holds tiebreakers over Colorado and San Jose, but loses the tiebreaker to Los Angeles. The Gladiators have lost twice to San Jose and once to Colorado. They won their first meeting with Los Angeles, but play the Avengers again May 14

OLD HOME WEEK: Six members of the Gladiators, including defensive coordinator Stan Davis, WR/DB Cornelius Bonner, WR/LB Joe Douglass, defensive specialist Donald Malloy, WR/DB Dameon Porter, and defensive specialist Marvin Taylor, once called Allstate Arena home.
- Davis was one of Mike Hohensee’s original hires as he built his staff prior to Chicago’s inaugural season, serving as the team’s WR/DB coach from 2001-2003 before moving on to Las Vegas.
- Bonner played for the Rush from 2001-2003, before following Davis to Las Vegas prior the 2004 season. With the Rush Bonner caught 131 passes and scored 26 receiving touchdowns in three seasons.
- Douglass was Chicago’s starting offensive specialist in 2001, recording 99 receptions for 1,287 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also was a dangerous return man, compiling 990 yards and three TDs on kick returns in 2001. Douglass played in two games in 2002, before being injured and lost for the season. He was taken by Colorado with the first pick in the 2003 expansion draft.
- Porter was voted First Team All-Arena in both 2001 and 2002 and won the AFL’s Ironman of the Year Award for his stellar performance in 2001. In his three seasons in Chicago (2001-2003), Porter racked up 105 receptions, 32 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. In 2001 he set an AFL record with 12 interceptions.
- Marvin Taylor joined the Rush in 2002 and spent two seasons in Chicago before being taken by Philadelphia in the 2004 expansion draft. He played in 23 games in his two seasons in Chicago, recording 78 tackles and five interceptions.
- Donald Malloy spent the 2003 season on Chicago’s practice squad.

VEGAS CONNECTIONS IN CHICAGO: Three members of the Rush – DB coach Brian Schwartze, DS Jeroid Johnson and QB Todd Hammel – have spent time with the Gladiators organization.
- Schwartze joined the Rush staff prior to the 2004 season after spending two seasons (2002-2003) with the Gladiators.
- Johnson played for the Gladiators from 2000 through 2004. He was named the team’s MVP in 2003 after posting 56 tackles and a team-record 8 interceptions in 13 games.
- Hammel was with Las Vegas in 2003, appearing in six games and passing for 979 yards and 17 touchdowns.

RUSH UNDEFEATED VS. VEGAS: The Rush enters Sunday’s game 3-0 vs. the Gladiators, winning at Allstate Arena in 2002 when the Gladiators called New Jersey home, and then winning in Las Vegas in both 2003 and 2004. Last season it took a “Hail Mary” pass from Raymond Philyaw that was caught off the net by Etu Molden as time expired to give the Rush an improbable 57-55 victory.

RUSH RALLY FALLS SHORT IN LA: A sloppy Rush team fell behind by 18 points last week in Los Angeles before mounting a furious late-game comeback against the Avengers. The rally was not enough, however, and the Rush fell 52-49 at Staples Center.

Chicago turned the ball over four times (two fumbles and two interceptions), lost a kickoff off the net, committed 11 penalties and dropped several passes in the loss, which cost the Rush the opportunity to take control of both the Central Division and the American Conference with just four weeks to go in the season.

The turning point in the game came with 30 seconds remaining in the first half and the Rush trailing 24-21. Rush QB Raymond Philyaw found offensive specialist Henry Douglas wide open in the end zone for an apparent touchdown. However, Douglas dropped the ball. On the very next play, Philyaw was pressured and tried to force a pass over the middle that was intercepted by Damen Wheeler – his second interception of the game. Wheeler returned the interception 34 yards for a touchdown and a 31-21 LA lead.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff RussellShaw was unable to catch Remy Hamilton’s kick as it took an awkward bounce off the net. Greg Hopkins scooped up the ball at the Rush four-yard line and dove into the end zone with 13 seconds remaining, giving LA a 38-21 halftime lead. The teams would exchange scores for most of the second half, until Chicago began its comeback with 6:11 remaining.

HOME COOKIN’: With its win over Colorado April 17, the Rush now has a 26-12 all-time record at home (including postseason). The Rush is 4-2 at home this year and was 7-2 at home in 2004, including a 59-49 win over Orlando in the AFL quarterfinals.

OT NOT KIND: The Rush has struggled in overtime in 2005, falling in both of its chances this year. The Rush lost the season opener in Dallas, 66-65, when Etu Molden’s game-winning two-point conversion attempt fell one-yard short of the end zone. Against New Orleans on March 20, Rush QB Raymond Philyaw threw his only interception of the game on Chicago’s first possession in OT, and VooDoo QB Andy Kelly capitalized, leading New Orleans on a 47-yard drive for the game-winning TD.

BETTER AFTER THE BREAK?: The Rush reached the midpoint of its season with a 4-4 record. Here is a look at the team’s record in the first and second halves of the past four seasons:

First Half Second Half Final Record
2001 4-3 3-4 7-7
2002 4-3 5-2 9-5
2003 3-5 5-3 8-8
2004 6-2 5-3 11-5
2005 4-4 3-1 ?

MOLDEN APPROACHING RUSH RECORDS: In just his second season, Rush WR/LB Etu Molden is close to becoming the team’s all-time leading receiver. For the second-consecutive season, Molden leads the team in all receiving categories, catching 78 passes for 968 yards and 22 touchdowns. Overall, Molden has scored 27 TDs this season (22 receiving, 4 rushing, 1 return). With his impressive season, Molden has moved into second place in Rush history behind former OS Antonio Chatman in receptions, receiving yards, receiving TDs and total TDs.

Career Numbers Chatman Molden
Receptions 197 179
Yards 2,676 2,248
Receiving TDs 52 45
Total TDs 62 59

McMILLEN AIMS FOR TOP SPOT ALL-TIME: Rush FB/LB Bob McMillen rushed for 16 yards vs. Los Angeles, giving him 142 for the season and 1,292 for his career. He is the first player in AFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in seven-consecutive seasons and currently sits in second place all-time on the league’s career rushing list. Les Barley is the AFL’s all-time leading rusher with 1,382 career yards. If McMillen averages 22 yards per game over the season’s final four weeks, he will finish the season as the league’s all-time leading rusher.

The AFL’s All-Time Rushing list
Player Seasons Team Yards
Les Barley 1992-2001 — 1,382
Bob McMillen 1995-present Chicago 1,292
Bo Kelly 1996-present Arizona 1,244
Andre Bowden 1991-2004 — 1,241

McMILLEN THIRD IN RUSHING TDs: Bob McMillen added two more rushing touchdowns Saturday night in LA, bringing his career total to 73. McMillen now sits by himself in third place on the AFL’s All-Time list for rushing TDs behind Barry Wagner (123) and Andre Bowden (93).

PHILYAW ON FIRE: Since returning to the lineup March 20, after missing two games with a sprained MCL in his right knee, QB Raymond Philyaw has been playing his best football of the season. In five games Philyaw has completed 124 of 173 passes (72%) for 1,427 yards, 25 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Philyaw has passed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back weeks (321 vs. Colorado and 333 at LA), marking just the second time in his career (7/15/01 vs. San Jose and 7/22/01 at Detroit) he has had back-to-back 300-yard games.

MOYER 8TH ALL-TIME: Rush lineman John Moyer recorded two sacks Saturday night in LA – numbers five and six on the season. Moyer now has 34 career sacks, including 29 as a member of the Rush. This season Moyer has moved past Joe March into eighth place all-time. Next up for Moyer is San Jose’s Joe Jacobs with 35.5 career sacks. Moyer holds both the Rush season and career records for sacks.

Here are Chicago’s season and career sack leaders:
Player Season Player Career
John Moyer 10.0 (2004) John Moyer 29.0
John Moyer 9.0 (2003) James Baron 10.0
John Moyer 6.0 (2005) Anthony Hutch 6.5
Anthony Hutch 5.5 (2001) Jamie McGourty 5.5
John Moyer 4.0 (2002) Riley Kleinhesselink 5.0
James Baron 4.0 (2003) Tony Henderson 4.0
Tony Henderson 4.0 (2001)
James Baron 3.0 (2004)
James Baron 3.0 (2002)
Jamie McGourty 3.0 (2004)

CAREER YEAR ON BOTH SIDES FOR SHAW: Given an opportunity to play for the first time in his five-year AFL career, WR/DB Russell Shaw is making the most of his opportunity. Through 12 games, Shaw has set career-highs by catching 30 passes for 369 yards. In addition, Shaw has recorded career-highs on defense with 41 tackles, eight passes broken up and three interceptions. Due to injuries to Todd Howard and Tony Lukins the past three weeks, Shaw has proved his versatility, playing defensive specialist for Chicago.

DOUGLAS TRULY SPECIAL: Offensive specialist Henry Douglas is thriving in the Rush system this season. Douglas is the team’s second-leading receiver, catching 77 passes for 879 yards and 15 touchdowns. Douglas also has returned 51 kicks for 1,021 yards and three touchdowns. Despite missing two-and-a-half games with a groin injury, Douglas ranks 5th in the AFL with 1,934 all-purpose yards.

ZERO SUM GAME: After a week in which the Rush finally got back to 0 with its turnover margin, the team once again finds itself in negative territory. The Rush turned the ball over five times last week and forced only two turnovers, bringing its season turnover margin to –3. That is quite a change from last year when the Rush finished tied for the league lead in turnover margin at +15.

KICKIN’ KEITH: Rush kicker Keith Gispert continues to be one of the AFL’s most consistent kickers. Gispert connected on five of six PAT attempts last week in LA, bringing his season totals to 67 of 77 extra-point attempts (87%) and eight of 12 field goal attempts. Last season Gispert connected on 95 of 108 PAT attempts (87.9%) and 12 of 22 field goal attempts.

THE OLD MAN CAN STILL PLAY: Backup QB Todd Hammel has played in four games for the Rush this season (two starts), including the 150th game of his career April 17 vs. Colorado. Hammel has shown that after 14 years he still can throw the ball, completing 47 of 64 passes for 649 yards and 12 touchdowns and posting a passer rating of 125.5. He is 2-0 as a starter this year and was named Offensive Player of the Game after completing 21 of 25 passes for 348 yards and six touchdowns and leading the Rush to a 48-45 win in Grand Rapids March 13.

BLOCK THAT KICK: March 6 against Nashville, lineman John Moyer blocked his second kick of the season, and seventh since the start of the 2004 season – a Gary Kral extra-point attempt on the final play of the first half. In the season opener against Dallas, Moyer blocked a Carlos Martinez 22-yard field goal attempt – also on the final play of the first half. In 2004 the Rush special teams blocked nine kicks – two field goals and seven extra points.

THE OLD GUYS: In addition to the six rookies on the Rush roster, the team also features many players with a wealth of AFL experience. Todd Hammel leads all Rush players with 150 career games, followed by Bob McMillen (123), John Moyer (92), John Sikora (88) and Frank Moore (87).

HOHENSEE NOW IN 3RD PLACE ALL-TIME: With Chicago’s 51-48 win in Colorado February 13, Rush head coach Mike Hohensee moved 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
- has a regular season record of 86-74 (including a
42-30 mark with the Rush).
- has a career 6-8 mark in the postseason.
- has led the Rush to four-consecutive playoff berths and two Central Division titles (2002 and 2004).
- is 3-0 all-time vs. the Gladiators.

All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Including Postseason
Coach Team Wins This Week
Tim Marcum Tampa Bay 173 vs. New Orleans
Danny White 141
Mike Hohensee Rush 92 vs. Las Vegas
Perry Moss 86
Mike Dailey Colorado 83 @ Grand Rapids
Darren Arbet San Jose 81 vs. Nashville
Michael Trigg 80

DOLEZEL A 300-YARD PASSER: The Rush defense has allowed an opposing QB to pass for 300 or more yards 10 times in its five year history – including three times this year. Las Vegas QB Clint Dolezel has accomplished the feat three times, more than any other opposing QB.

Rush opponent’s 300-yard passing games:
Player Date Yards
Clint Stoerner 1/30/05 @ Dallas 398
Mark Grieb 4/10/05 vs. San Jose 368
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 3/20/05 vs. New Orleans 311
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



TALE OF THE TAPE:
Chicago Category Las Vegas
12 Games 12
49.8 (9) Scoring Offense 47.3 (13)
47 (5) Scoring Defense 47.3 (6)
298.5 (4) Total Offense 307.2 (2)
301.3 (13) Total Defense 247.8 (1)
46-55, 83.6% Red Zone Offense 44-59, 74.6%
34-45, 75.6% Red Zone Defense 64-82, 78%
274.2 (6) Pass Offense 286.8 (3)
279.2 (12) Pass Defense 228.8 (1)
24.4 (5) Rushing Offense 20.3 (7)
22.1 (10) Rushing Defense 19.4 (7)
548 (10) Scoring 568 (13)
86 (8) Scoring (Kicking) 78
66-1034-3 Kickoff Returns 53-947-1
15.7 Kick Return Average 17.9
7-139-1 Missed Field Goal Returns 7-63-0
19.9 Missed FG Return Avg. 9
-3 (10) Turnover Margin -9 (15)
8-11, 72.7% Field Goals 6-12, 50%
62-71, 87.3% PAT Kicking 60-76, 78.9%
7-24 yards Sacks By 14-71 yards
5-28 Sacks Against 4-19
35-63, 55.6% Third Down Conversion 34-71, 47.9%
6-14, 42.9% Fourth Down Conversion 10-22, 45.5%
90-570 Penalties (#-Yards) 124-814
91-620 Opp. Penalties (#-Yards) 120-680
BOLD – AFL Leader

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

Charlie Cook: yards per rush (10th-5.8 yards)

Henry Douglas: all-purpose yards (6th-1902 yards), missed field goal returns (2nd -6), missed field goal return yards (6th-93 yards), missed field goal return touchdowns (2nd-10), kick returns (4th-10), kick return yards (4th-927 yards)

Todd Hammel: total offensive avg/yards (1st-9.7 yards), yards per catch (1st-13.8), pass completion percentage (1st-73.4)

Keith Gispert: scoring (kicking) (10th- 91 points), touchbacks (6th-26), field goals (9th-8), field goal percentage (3rd-66.7%), PAT made (9th-67)

Jeroid Johnson: tackles (11th-59), fumbles recovered (T-8th-3)

Jeremy McDaniel: yards per rush (3rd-9 yards)

Bob McMillen: rushing (6th-142 yards) rushing attempts (2nd-48), rushing tds (7th-8)

Etu Molden: scoring (8th-162 points), receiving tds (10th-22)

John Moyer: sacks (5th-6), fumbles recovered (7th-3), tackles for loss (2nd-8)

Raymond Philiyaw: passing avg per game (5th-272.8), pass rating (4th-114.7), pass completions (9th-240)

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, 4/10 vs. San Jose)
Henry Douglas (2/13 @ Colorado, 4/2 @ New York)
Etu Molden (3/6 vs. Nashville, 4/17 vs. Colorado)
Todd Hammel (3/13 @ Grand Rapids)

ADT Defensive Player of the Game:
Russell Shaw (2/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/17 vs. Colorado)
Todd Howard (3/6 vs. Nashville, 3/13 @ Grand Rapids, April 2 @ New York)
Jeroid Johnson (3/20 vs. New Orleans)
Charles Pauley (April 2 @ New York)
Etu Molden (4/10 vs. San Jose)

U.S. Army Ironman of the Game:
Henry Douglas (1/30 @ Dallas)
John Moyer (2/6 vs. Philadelphia)
Etu Molden (3/6 vs. Nashville, 3/13 @ Grand Rapids, 4/17 vs. Colorado)
Bob McMillen (3/20 vs. New Orleans, 4/10 vs. San Jose)

RUSH WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS: The following Rush players have won AFL weekly awards for their play this season:

Offensive Player of the Week:
Raymond Philyaw (Week 11 vs. San Jose)
Etu Molden (Week 12 vs. Colorado)

INJURY REPORT: The following players appeared on this week’s injury report to the AFL.
Out – Colin Greczek (left fibula fracture), Jon McCall (finger), Jamie McGourty (toe), Carlos Wright (left quad)
Questionable – Etu Molden (glute strain)
Probable – Tony Lukins (right groin)

RUSH PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Practice for the week of April 25:
Monday, April 25 – Player Meetings 10 a.m.
Tuesday, April 26 – Off
Wednesday, April 27 – 12:35 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Thursday, April 28 – 8:35 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Friday, April 29 – 8:35 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Saturday, April 30 – 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

All practices this week will be held at the team’s Hoffman Estates practice facility, Poplar Creek Sports Centre.

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