AVERY RUSHES FOR 180 YARDS AND TWO SCORES, IVY ADDS TWO INTERCEPTIONS AND SIX TACKLES TO PUT CHICAGO IN PLAYOFF HUNT
STAMFORD, CONN. (Tuesday, March 27, 2001) - The XFL today named Chicago Enforcers RB John Avery as its Offensive Player of the Week and teammate DB Corey Ivy as its Defensive Player of the Week for week eight. The Windy City duo led the Enforcers to a crucial, 13-0, win over the Birmingham Thunderbolts on Sunday night, giving Chicago control of its playoff destiny.
Despite opening the season with four straight losses, the Enforcers have won three of their last four outings and can now clinch a playoff spot by winning their last two regular-season contests. The first is Saturday at Giants Stadium versus the NY/NJ Hitmen (8:00 p.m. ET-NBC).
Avery exploded on the Birmingham defense for an XFL-record 180 yards on 20 carries, including touchdown runs of 73 and nine yards. The tailback is now averaging a league-best 105 rushing yards per game, and also leads the XFL in rushing yards (733) and yards-per-carry (5.5). He now has seven touchdowns on the season (five rushing). This marks the second time Avery has captured Player of the Week honors, after he won the first-ever award in Week One. He is the first player to have won the award, offensive or defensive, more than once.
Ivy had two interceptions to lead the Chicago defense in shutting down the Birmingham offense. The DB also added six tackles, five of them solo efforts, as the Enforcers kept the Bolts off the board to put themselves squarely in the middle of the battle for the playoffs.
Enforcers head coach Ron Meyer said that his players made big plays in a big game, and now face the Hitmen in what will basically be a playoff atmosphere.
"John played exceptionally well as he has all season. His first run, where he scored the touchdown, set the tone for us," Meyer said. "Corey's two interceptions also were big plays for us as our defense came up big for us when they had to. This was a great victory for us, putting us right in the playoff hunt. Now have to go New York on Saturday night and lay it on the line."
Runner-up for offensive honors was Las Vegas TE Rickey Brady, who tied the XFL record with three TD catches in a loss to Los Angeles Saturday night. Runner-up for defensive honors was Xtreme DB Ricky Parker, with seven tackles and a fumble recovery