Can Rush avenge playoff loss to Arizona?

By Daily Herald News Services
Posted5/10/2012 9:28 PM

With a perfect 5-0 record at Allstate Arena, the Central Division leading Chicago Rush will be tested on the road in three of their next four games.

And the West Division teams they'll be facing -- Arizona, San Jose and Utah -- have a combined 9-2 home record so far this season.


First up is an 8 p.m. contest against the Arizona Rattlers at US Airways Center in Phoenix. Arizona defeated the Rush 54-48 in the playoffs last season.

"We haven't forgotten that they ended our season last year," said wide receiver Reggie Gray.

Two lefts make it right:

Rush QB Russ Michna and Arizona counterpart Nick Davila are both left-handed passers. Michna currently ranks as the third-most efficient passer in the Arena Football League, while Davila sits at No. 5.

The Purify factor:

Arizona's Maurice Purify, a Nebraska Cornhusker, hasn't scored fewer than 2 TDs in any game this season.

And the only game in which he was held to less than 113 receiving yards was against Georgia, when he had only 3 catches, but 2 of them went for touchdowns.

Purify, 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds, has had four games that have seen him go over 150 receiving yards.

New additions:

The rosters for the Rush and the Rattlers have changed since they met in the 2011 playoffs. Both teams brought back key playmakers from that playoff contest and added some new talent.

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All-Arena receiver Maurice Purify joined the Rattlers, while Terrance Turner, Jared Perry and Marquis Hamilton added to the Rush arsenal with the tandem of quarterback Rush Michna and Gray.

Kicker Chris Gould moved southwest during the off-season, leaving the Rush for the Rattlers. Johnie Kirton also traded in his Rush jersey for the Rattlers colors through free agency.

Rush quartet:

Rush Player Personnel Director Scott Bailey put together four potent options for quarterback Rush Michna this season. All four wide receivers have caught at least 10 passes in a game this season.

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