Rush's Harrell sets Arena TD reception mark in victory over Crush

Special to the Tribune

Damian Harrell wasn't thinking about records on Saturday, he was more worried about facing former Colorado teammates he played with for five seasons.

He didn't need to worry.

The Rush receiver hauled in two touchdown passes to become Arena Football League's all-time career leader with 304 as the Rush thumped the visiting Crush 70-35 before a crowd of 16,036 at Allstate Arena.

"I was fighting emotions and I'm just happy I didn't have a nervous breakdown out there," said Harrell, who had five receptions for 60 yards. "Coach [Mike] Hohensee did a great job helping me keep my composure [by not] going to me early. That helped me settle down and got other guys involved."

There was plenty to share. Seven Rush players scored as the club displayed impressive balance. All told, five receivers caught touchdown passes while the Rush (3-1) also ran for three scores.

Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner went 24 of 29 for 211 yards and four touchdown passes. Backup Russ Michna passed for two more and scored a pair on runs.

The previous AFL touchdown reception record of 303 was held by Eddie Brown, a former Albany and Indiana star who retired in 2003 after 10 AFL seasons.

Harrell, a 10-year AFL veteran, tied the mark with 4 minutes 10 seconds left in the second quarter when he combined with Bonner on a 23-yard touchdown pass play.

A 7-yard strike from Bonner in the final minute of the opening half gave Harrell his second touchdown of the game and the record.

"I'm not a big stat guy," said Harrell, the AFL's offensive player of the year in 2005 and 2006. "So [the record] probably won't register until I retire."

Nose tackle James Barron and lineman Joe Peters each had blocked field goals, with Peters' resulting in a two-point safety.

And early in the second quarter, lineman Jon Moyer recovered a fumble that helped set up a Rush scoring drive.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now