STAMFORD, CONN. (Thursday, February 8, 2001) - The XFL today named Chicago Enforcers RB John Avery as its first-ever Offensive Player of the Week and Orlando Rage LB Shawn Banks as its inaugural Defensive Player of the Week.
Avery amassed a combined 250 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday night as the Enforcers fell, 33-29, to the Orlando Rage at the Citrus Bowl.
He carried the ball 25 times for 157 yards and one touchdown, while also catching three balls for 93 yards and a score. Avery broke off two long scoring plays, recording a 64-yard run and a 68-yard touchdown pass from QB Tim Lester.
"It is a great honor to be the first-ever XFL Player of the Week," said Avery. "However, I would much rather have had a victory last week. Hopefully, we can pull out a win this week in LA."
In the same game, Shawn Banks was a force for the Rage, keying the team to the win in its opener in front the home crowd.
The linebacker had five solo tackles, two for losses, added a fumble recovery and an interception - and preserved the win by recovering a Chicago on-sides kick in the final minute of the game.
"Player of the Week honors are nice, but the main thing is that we got the win," said Banks. "That's always the bottom line, winning. As a defense, we weren't happy about giving up the big plays and our goal is to improve and play better this week."
LEADS CHICAGO AS PRO FOOTBALL RETURNS TO LA LIVE ON NBC:
John Avery and Chicago provide the opposition as pro football returns to Los Angeles on Saturday when the Enforcers battle the Xtreme at the L.A. Coliseum at 8:00 p.m. (ET) live on NBC.
AND THE RAGE LOOK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT AS DEMONS VISIT SATURDAY:
The Orlando Rage look to make it two straight wins this Saturday night, hosting the 1-0 San Francisco Demons at 8:00 p.m. (ET) at the Citrus Bowl. NBC will provide cut-ins throughout the night to follow all the action.