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That VooDoo that You Do Doesn't Work Against Chicago Rush


The Chicago Rush honored its head coach, Bob McMillen, by retiring his #44 jersey on Saturday night, and also honored him on the field with a convincing 50-28 victory over the visiting New Orleans VooDoo.
National Guard MVP Russ Michna threw for 213 yards and six touchdowns--three of which went to Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game and NiFTy Playmaker of the Game Reggie Gray--as the Rush improved its season record to 5-2. Gray finished the game with nine receptions, 165 receiving yards, and his three scores. Johnie Kirton rumbled for 33 yards on the ground.

It was the Rush defense, however, that was the real star of the game, collecting five turnovers and hurrying the New Orleans quarterbacks eight times--four by Mark Weivoda. Chris Wallace started at quarterback for the VooDoo (1-6), and the Rush D harassed him into three interceptions--one of which was returned for a touchdown by JLS Ironman of the Game Vic Hall on the Cutter Catch of the Game--and a fumble that was recovered by New Orleans in its own end zone that resulted in a safety credited to Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Quartez Vickerson. Vickerson added two sacks and two forced fumbles to his defensive onslaught, while Hall pulled two of Wallace's passes down for interceptions and knocked three more out of the air. Weivoda and Reggie Scott each added a sack and a forced fumble, Mike Newkirk recovered two fumbles, and Kelvin Morris intercepted Wallace once. Meanwhile, Jason Simpson led the team with nine tackles and four assists, with Greg James right behind him with eight tackles and four assists.

The lone bright spot for the VooDoo was P.J. Berry, who single-handedly was the source of over half of the entire team's total yardage. He also scored three of the VooDoo's four touchdowns. Berry finished with five rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 12 receptions, 132 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown, and 68 return yards. Just for good measure, he also recorded a tackle.

Danny Wimprine relieved Wallace late in the third quarter after Wallace's third interception was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Hall, but already down 50-14 at the time, Wimprine couldn't do much against a Rush defense that had its ears pinned back. He was, however, able to muster up 129 passing yards and a touchdown, despite being sacked twice, hurried twice, and losing a fumble in just over a quarter's worth of play.

The VooDoo travels to Kansas City next Saturday to take on the Command (2-5) at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. The Rush hits the road for Tulsa for a division game against the Talons (2-5), also on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Both games can be viewed on NiFTy TV.

This article also appears on Arena Pigskin.