05/06/2012 5:56 PM
C.J. Cobb lifts up Reggie Gray after breaking Etu Molden's all-time all-purpose touchdown record
- CHICAGO - Chicago wide receiver Reggie Gray broke Etu Molden’s franchise record as the Chicago Rush (6-2) put away the Iowa Barnstormers (3-5) 61-50 Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Scoring on the second and fifth offensive drives, Reggie Gray (6 catches, 117 yards, 2 TD) now holds the all-time Chicago Rush franchise record for all-purpose touchdowns with 74.
“There is nothing like breaking a record in front of your hometown,” stated Reggie Gray, a Morgan Park native.
Gray’s third quarter 34-yard record-breaking touchdown reception set the course for a strong second half. After two Iowa touchdowns sandwiched a Kelvin Morris 2-yard touchdown run mid way through the third quarter, Chicago eventually claimed the lead for good.
Rush WR Marquis Hamilton sparked the surge by sneaking past the Iowa secondary and hauling in his first catch of the evening, a 42-yard touchdown toss from Russ Michna. The ensuing kickoff resulted in two more points for Chicago when Iowa kick returner Marco Thomas crossed the goal line and returned back to the end zone where Jared Perry tackled him for the safety. The ability to receive another offensive possession right away wasn’t wasted as Terrance Turner (5 catches, 72 yards, 3 TD) scorched past the Iowa secondary to record the second 42-yard touchdown reception of the night, giving the Rush a 53-42 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Iowa’s Rodney Filer would bring them to within 5 with 12:58 remaining in the game, but Iowa’s offense couldn’t crack the scoring column the rest of the way. A safety with :07 left in the game gave Iowa their only other points of the fourth quarter.
Game MVP Russ Michna (22-32, 369 yards, 5 TD) spearheaded the second half outburst by Chicago, completing 10-12 passes which included two touchdown strikes of 42-yards.
“(Iowa) had a good plan for us,” mentioned Rush QB Russ Michna, “We put up a couple route conversions in the locker room at half and towards the end of the third quarter received some of the same looks we saw earlier in the game and converted them both.”
Methodical drives by the Iowa Barnstormers throughout the first three quarters allowed them to keep the game close. Six straight touchdown drives from the get-go gave Iowa the lead all the way into the 2:45 mark of the third quarter. Iowa QB J.J. Raterink (30-39, 358 yards, 4 TD) cruised along in the first half by throwing three touchdowns, two of which found All-Arena wide receiver Jesse Schmidt (13 catches, 194 yards, 3 TD).
However, Chicago’s defense took advantage of Iowa’s dead last AFL ranking in sacks allowed by recording three sacks and forcing multiple hurries. Rush defensive end Xavier Brown led the team with two sacks and Pierre Walters chipped in with another.
Other leaders of the game included Chicago wide receiver Jared Perry who finished with 9 catches for 130 yards, while defensive back Vic Hall led the Rush defense with 10 tackles.
Rush backup QB Luke Drone engineered points by rushing for a first quarter touchdown, throwing for a fourth quarter touchdown and completing a two-point conversion with a toss to kicker Mike Salerno (1-1 FG, 6-7 PAT).
With their sixth win on the season, the Rush match three other teams for the most wins in the AFL. Next up is a trip to Arizona to take on the 6-2 Rattlers.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game
- IOW WR Jesse Schmidt
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game
- CHI DE Xavier Brown
JLS Ironman of the Game
- IOW DB/KR Jason Simpson
AFL Playmaker of the Game
– CHI WR Jared Perry
Cutters Catch of the Game
- CHI WR Terrance Turner 42-yard touchdown catch
Spalding Highlight of the Game
- CHI WR Reggie Gray’s TD to break Etu Molden’s all-purpose TD record
National Guard MVP
- CHI QB Russ Michna
ABOUT CHICAGO RUSH
Tickets are available for the next Rush home game June 3rd against Spokane at Allstate Arena. Season ticket and flex plans also on sale with prices starting as low as $8 a ticket, and can be purchased by calling the Chicago Rush office at 855.RUSH.WIN (855.787.4946) or by visiting arenarush.com. Coming off their best regular season record (13-5) in 2011, the 2006 ArenaBowl Champion Chicago Rush are looking to make their 11th straight playoff appearance in 2012 under the leadership of Coach Bob McMillen. For up to the minute updates on the Rush, follow Facebook.com/arenarush and @arenarush on twitter.