Monday, October 4, 2010

Garner's Brandon Banks, in his first pro game, key to Redskins victory

The talk was all about Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb coming back to Philadelphia to face his old team, the Eagles. But it was a first-quarter, 53-yard punt return by Garner's Brandon Banks that was the key to the Redskins 17-12 win Sunday.

Banks, who is only about 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds, took a punt at his own 8-yard line and sped down the left sideline all the way to the Eagles 39-yard line setting up the Redskins' first score of the game.

The Redskins scored another TD on a McNabb to Chris Cooley and held off the Eagles. John Riggins, former Redskins' great and host of his own radio and TV program, said that Banks' punt return was the key play of the game for the Redskins.

That's hard to argue as it gave the Redskins the momentum early which lasted until the last few minutes when the Eagles made it close.

Banks made the Redskins' squad at the first of the year but was placed on the practice squad until Sunday when he made his NFL debut in fine fashion.

“I feel good, but I still feel like I should have scored on that play,” Banks said. “But you know, we won so that’s all that matters at the end of the day, so I’m happy.”

In practice during the week leading up to the game, Banks played the roles of Eagles Michael Vick, who was injured during the game, and DeSean Jackson.

Few could have imagined that he would have made an impact in the real game. Banks also ran a few plays at wide receiver.

Banks, who went undrafted out of Kansas State, was a two-time all-conference football selection at Garner High School and was named to the USA Today's All-USA high school track and field team in 2006.

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