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updated: 3/26/2011 3:21 PM

Rush rolls to 54-41 win

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Special to the Daily Herald

The Chicago Rush (3-0) defeated the San Jose SaberCats (2-1) by a score of 54-41 in the return of one of the greatest rivalries in the Arena Football League.

The Rush team was led by a dominant performance from quarterback Russ Michna in which he passed for 229 yards with 5 touchdowns. Michna also rushed for 38 yards and 2 of Chicago's 3 rushing touchdowns.

"We are really proud of the way our team performed tonight," coach Bob McMillen said. "The first half both teams played pretty sloppy, but our players came out in the second half with a lot of intensity. They fought back and came away with a huge win against San Jose."

Rush wide receiver Reggie Gray again proved to be a familiar target for Michna. He started the game quickly for the Rush with a 46-yard touchdown reception. Gray led the team with 149 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns.

"Russ places the ball really well and I just did my job," Gray said. "I feel great about the 3-0 start, and I plan on continuing to work hard, executing and improving."

The Rush defense also had a strong performance on the night, holding the SaberCats offense to just 7 points in the third quarter. Despite veteran SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb's 279-yard passing performance, the Rush defense found a way to stop San Jose in the second half.

Defensive backs Vic Hall and Jason Simpson led the defense throughout the night. Hall ended the night with 9 tackles, a tackle for a loss and an interception, while Simpson totaled 8 tackles, 2 interceptions and took home Ironman of the Game honors.

"Jason has been a key element on our defense," McMillen said. "His intensity is unmatched. He works hard and he consistently finds a way to deliver."