The Rush during pre-game warmups.
The Rush are more than happy to be back home at the Allstate Arena after a disasterous road trip to Arizona and San Jose. The Rush lost both of those games are now licking their wounds with a 6-4 record. They are now two games behind the San Antonio Talons in the Central Division. The Rush are hoping to bounce back with a victory against the Spokane Shock, a team that has won 5 of their last 6. They also have two former Rush players on their team this season, Lineman Palauni Ma Sun and WR/DB Josh Ferguson. Spokane has an undefeated record against the Rush.
The Shock eliminated the Rush from the playoffs from 2010, and Rush Quarterback Russ Michna has received season ending injuries at the hands of the Spokane defense. So it will be a very physical game to say the least. And if that wasn’t enough, the Rush will be playing with heavy hearts today and have been practicing with heavy hearts all week. FB/LB Johnie Kirton who played with the Rush in 2011, passed away earlier this week. He scored the game winning touchdown when the Rush lost to San Jose last weekend. Kirton was very good friends with Rush WR/DB Reggie Gray and LB/FB Kelvin Morris.
Earlier in the week I spoke with both Reggie and Kelvin and both men are trying to keep it together after losing their friend. Kelvin Morris was teammates and roommates with Kirton back in 2010 when both men played for the Arizona Rattlers. The cause of Kirton’s death is still under investigation. Both men have dedicated today’s game to Johnie Kirton. Kelvin Morris has decided to make a season long tribute to Kirton by changing his jersey number from 11 to 37 which was Kirton’s number. Emotions have been running high all week and the Rush are very hungry and determined to get back in the win column.
So I am expecting a high energy game full of big hits and big plays. You can follow me during the game on Twitter: @GabeSalgado82 Hashtag: #Q101Sports and I will be posting my next Q101.com report at halftime.
Linemen T.J. Waktins and Jason Peters are inactive for the Rush today, as is DB/WR Reggie Sullivan. But on the positive side FB/LB Russell Monk finally joins team this season after getting injured in training camp.
Here are the starting lineups for the Rush today:
QB: #12 Russ Michna
FB: #43 J.J. Payne
WR: #1 Reggie Gray
WR: #6 Jared Perry
WR: #2 Terrance Turner
TE: #75 Colin Madison
C: #51 Billy Eisenhardt
G: #70 C.J. Cobb
DE: #93 Cedric McKinley
NT: #92 Darrel Campbell
DE: #95 Jeffery Fitzgerald
MLB: #56 Nekos Brown
JLB: #37 Kelvin Morris
DB: #3 Brian Lainhart
DB: # 21 Kelvyn Hemphill
DB: #8 Leslie Majors
Here is my pre-game interview with Reggie Gray: