Pregame fireworks ignited the momentum on a high-scoring opening night as the Chicago Rush defeated the Tampa Bay Storm 70-48. A combined 70-point first half kept the 9,124 fans on their toes Saturday night at the Allstate Arena.
Rush linebacker Kelvin Morris began the scoring by returning an interception 25-yards for a touchdown on Tampa Bay's first offensive possession.
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Despite the shaky start, Storm quarterback Stephen Wasil would be involved on all eight Tampa scoring drives by running for 4 TDs and throwing 47, 43, 30 and 17-yard touchdown passes.
After connecting on his third touchdown pass late in the second quarter, an unsuccessful surprise onside kick would allow Rush quarterback Russ Michna to find wide receiver Marquis Hamilton to tie the game at 35-35 at halftime.
For the Rush, Reggie Gray had 7 receptions for 80 yards and 4 TDs, Marquis Hamilton had 10 catches for 117 yards and, 3 TDs and Jared Perry finished with 6 receptions for 41 yards and a TD.
With all that offense, Michna broke the franchise record for touchdown passes in a game with 8. He went 24-for-37 on the night for 237 yards.
"We have a group of guys running around here that are really talented, some truly unbelievable talent," Michna said.
Linebacker Kelvin Morris compensated for an off night in the secondary by returning 2 interceptions for touchdowns and forcing a third-quarter fumble that also led to a Rush touchdown.
"We have talked about challenges as a team all week," Rush coach Bob McMillen said, "and we answered those tonight."