04/14/2012 8:30 PM
WR Jared Perry catches a first quarter touchdown pass - Photo by Andrew Snook
- GEORGIA (April 14, 2012) – A six touchdown first half by Georgia quarterback R.J. Archer was too tall of an order to handle as the Rush suffered their first defeat of the 2012 season.
Chicago mistakes were littered all over the field as QB Russ Michna (20-36, 263 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT) kicked it off on the first offensive series by tossing an interception to Force defensive back Tracy Belton. The Force would use the five turnovers to post 28 of their 70 points on the night.
Georgia wide receiver Brandon McRae provided the bulls-eye for Archer in the first half, hauling in three touchdowns. His most impressive came on a throw that began with a leap near the sidewall and ended with him catching the touchdown on the Gwinnett Arena concrete.
No matter the first half mistakes by the Rush, the deficit was cut to eight points on a two-yard touchdown run by FB/JLB Kelvin Morris in the second quarter. However, two straight Force touchdowns and a 4th down touchdown catch by the previously quiet WR Larry Shipp with a minute remaining in the second quarter led to a 49-20 first half advantage.
Bounces turned Chicago’s way in the third quarter where they took a 23-7 scoring advantage. After an opening possession touchdown by Georgia, Chicago would string together the 23 unanswered points in the final 3:36 to cut the lead to 13. Wide receiver Reggie Gray (7 catches, 133 yards, 2 TD) would mark the final seconds of that third quarter by catching a 40-yard touchdown pass, moving closer to both the all-time receiving touchdown record and all-purpose touchdown record .
The ensuing kickoff from Gray’s touchdown provided a chance for the Rush to continue their comeback in the fourth quarter. The ball clanked off the iron upright, bouncing high off of the net and grazed the fingers of two Chicago players. Yet, the ball would strike the sidewall before being recovered by the Rush, signaling a dead ball and possession to Georgia.
“Out of all the mistakes we made tonight, that one play could’ve turned the tide for the rest of the game,” stated Head Coach Bob McMillen, “If we recover and get the ball at their 3-yard line we have the chance to score and make it a one possession game.”
Georgia quarterback R.J. Archer (21-27, 205 yards, 6 TD) wouldn’t need a second half touchdown as Mykell Brown and the Force defense stymied the last of the Rush comeback attempt.
The final blow came on QB Russ Michna’s fifth turnover of the night (four INT’s, one fumble), resulting in Georgia’s WR Larry Shipp taking a reverse into the end zone to place a 70 on the scoreboard and send Chicago home without an undefeated record.
“There were a lot of mistakes tonight,” said quarterback Russ Michna, “and turnovers on the road never equate to a winning recipe.”
Chicago WR Jared Perry would lead the team in receiving by catching 9 passes for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Kelvin Morris would lead the Rush defense by recording a sack and three tackles.
With the loss, the Rush drop to 4-1 on the season and will return home April 21, 2012, to take on the Milwaukee Mustangs at the Allstate Arena.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: GEO Brandon McRae
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: CHI Kelvin Morris
JLS Ironman of the Game: GEO Mykell Brown
AFL Playmaker of the Game: GEO Brandon McRae
Cutters Catch of the Game: GEO Brandon McRae’s TD onto the concrete
Spalding Highlight of the Game: GEO Brandon McRae’s TD onto the concrete
National Guard MVP: GEO R.J. Archer