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Rush drop fourth game in a row
Chris Greisen threw six touchdown passes to help the Georgia Force clinch a playoff spot and capture the Southern Division title with a 50-47 victory over the Rush on Saturday night.
Russ Michna threw five touchdown passes and ran for a score for the Rush (9-6). Donovan Morgan had 13 catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Although the team has clinched a playoff spot, the loss was the Rush's fourth straight with one regular-season game remaining against the Dallas Desperados next Sunday.
The Rush was faced with a rare hurry-up pregame decision when kicker Paul Edinger suffered a groin injury about an hour and 15 minutes before the game while warming up. Lineups must be set one hour before kickoff.
Fortunately for the Rush, Joe O'Donnell, a friend and former teammate of Rush lineman John Moyer with the Florida Bobcats in 2000, had driven from Birmingham, Ala., with his wife to watch the game.
Moyer called him and said the Rush needed a kicker.
O'Donnell was hurried into the locker room, given shoes, shorts, T-shirt and an emergency tryout, which was sufficient for coaches to put him on the roster in time for lineup submissions.
O'Donnell converted five of seven extra-point attempts, missing his first and last.
Ironically, the last time O'Donnell had kicked was 2004 when the former Maryland kicker was in Bears training camp competing with Edinger. But he was hurt and never kicked in an exhibition after previous tries with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe.
The severity of Edinger's injury isn't known yet.
If the Rush hadn't added O'Donnell their choice was to go for two-point conversions after scores, something they did at Colorado in the first game of 2006 while using backup quarterback Michael Bishop on kickoffs.
Greisen was 25-of-39 for 263 yards and also ran for a score for the Force (10-5) in their seventh consecutive victory.
Carl Morris had eight catches for 103 yards and four touchdowns, and Troy Bergeron finished with 10 catches for 91 yards and a score.
The Rush led 27-20 at halftime and the game was knotted at 34 after three quarters.
Tribune reporter John Mullin contributed to this report.