STAMFORD, CONN. – The XFL today named Memphis
Maniax RB Rashaan Salaam as its Offensive Player
of the Week and New York/New Jersey Hitmen DE
Israel Raybon as its Defensive Player of the
Week for week four.
Memphis’ Heisman Trophy winner ignored a torrential
downpour and subsequent terrible field conditions
at the L.A. Coliseum to blast through the Los
Angeles defense for 126 yards on 26 carries.
The total included a 21-yard TD run in the second
quarter which would prove to be the game-winning
score as the Maniax dropped the Xtreme, 18-12,
on Sunday night.
"That weather was the worst I've ever played
in,” Salaam said after the game. “I got used
to the footing as the game went on but I was
never able to go at full speed. The line opened
up some great holes for me and I wish I could
have gone full speed because I would have had
some really long runs.”
Salaam leads the XFL with 404 rushing yards
on the season, and his 4.7 yards-per-carry average
is second only to Chicago’s John Avery (5.2).
For the Hitmen, “Raybo” recorded three sacks
and racked up six tackles as NY/NJ survived
a rain-soaked Saturday night at Soldier Field
to shut out the Enforcers, 13-0, for the Hitmen’s
first win of the season.
NY/NJ’s defense was dominating in shutting-out
Chicago, holding the Avery-less team to just
65 total net yards on the day.
“I told (Chicago QB Tim) Lester he was going
to be in for a long night,” said Raybon. “When
I sacked him the first time, I said, ‘Remember
me. I’ll see you next time you drop back.’”
Raybon is second in the XFL with five sacks
on the season and his 21 tackles ranks him 10th
in the league in that category.
Runner-up for offensive honors was Las Vegas
RB Rod “He Hate Me” Smart, who helped the transition
to new QB Mark Grieb by racking up 88 yards
and a touchdown on 18 carries, helping the Outlaws
to a crucial, 16-9 win in San Francisco’s “Hell
Hole,” Pac Bell Park. Smart also banged across
from two yards out for a one-point conversion
after Grieb hooked up with Mike Furrey on a
41-yard bomb for Vegas’ second touchdown.
Defensive runner-up was Outlaws LB Joseph Tuipala.
“Samoan Light” registered five tackles in Sunday's
win over San Francisco. In the first half, Tuipala
twice sacked Demons QB Mike Pawlawski, forcing
fumbles both times that the Outlaws recovered.