Switch to DB suits Rush’s Kelvin Morris fine
By Seth Gruen Special to Sun-Times Media June 26, 2011 10:48PM
Updated: October 16, 2011 12:18AM
Rush jack linebacker Kelvin Morris doesn’t have a medical degree, but he gave coach Bob McMillen some much-needed psychiatric
relief Sunday against the Iowa Barnstormers.
McMillen spent much of the week dealing with the stress of losing starting quarterback Russ Michna to an ankle injury for eight to 12 weeks and preparing his potential replacements, Dominic Randolph and J.J. Raterink.
When Vic Hall, who set the Arena Football League single-season interception record with 15, reaggravated a lingering turf toe injury in the second quarter Sunday, McMillen needed a reprieve.
Morris provided that when he moved from linebacker to defensive back and grabbed two key interceptions as the Rush beat the Barnstormers 58-48 at Allstate Arena.
It was the second time in his career that Morris played defensive back.
“You can’t replace Vic,” Morris said. “There’s a reason he broke the record with picks, but somebody has to step up and make a play.
“We practiced it during the week, but to be honest with you, I did not expect to go in there.”
After Hall’s injury, the Rush’s defense held the Barnstormers
(3-11) scoreless in the second and third quarters. Down by 20 points entering the second, the Rush
(10-4) went on a 33-0 run to lead
40-27 entering the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t unexpected to the Rush. McMillen has been talking about his team’s depth on the defensive side of the ball all season.
“I thought our defense again, they stepped up,” McMillen said. “You’ve got eight or 10 guys that are on that defensive side of the ball that want to continually make plays.”
Randolph started his first AFL game, completing 17 of 27 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns.
“This is a kid that has got very little experience,” McMillen said. “The reason we went with Dom is that he deserved it. He’s been in the system all year.”
Wide receiver Reggie Gray returned consecutive fourth-quarter kickoffs for touchdowns, the first after the Barnstormers had taken a one-point lead.