Defensive lineman propels Rush past Soul, 54-43

ROSEMONT, Ill. - A spectacular play by Chicago Rush defensive lineman John Moyer dashed the hopes of the upset-minded Soul last night in an Arena Football League game before 14,529 fans at the Allstate Arena.

One play after Philadelphia's Idris Price busted through the line and blocked a 25-yard go-ahead field-goal attempt by Dan Frantz, Moyer batted quarterback Juston Wood's pass into the air at about the Chicago 20-yard line.

The ball caromed off the helmet of defensive lineman Curtis Eason and right back to Moyer, who ran 39 yards for a touchdown with 3 minutes, 17 seconds left in Chicago's 54-43 victory.

"Sure it's unfortunate, but it was a great play," Soul coach Bret Munsey said. ". . . Yeah, hitting off the helmet and bouncing up for a touchdown is probably a little bit of luck, but good teams get lucky breaks, and they're a good football team and continue to get those breaks."

Trailing by 47-43 after that play, the Soul advanced to Chicago's 19, but Wood's pass on fourth and 5 was out of Jerrian James' reach.

Chicago iced the game on Matt D'Orazio's 33-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Sippio.

The loss extended the Soul's losing streak to four games. Philadelphia is 4-4, a half-game behind Columbus for third place in the Eastern Division. Chicago, the defending Arena Bowl champion, has won seven straight and sits atop the Central Division at 7-1.

Wood, making his first start of the season for the Soul, completed 27 of 42 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns. However, he threw three interceptions, all in the second half.

Soul starter Tony Graziani will be on injured reserve with a shoulder injury for at least another two games. Munsey elected to go with Wood over Clint Stoerner, who started last week.

Wood was a sparkling 14 of 16 for 171 yards and five touchdowns in the first half as the Soul built a 34-20 lead.

D'Orazio passed for 336 yards and four touchdowns.