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Bennett's fumble return prompts calls from younger brother Martellus

11:06 PM CDT on Saturday, September 6, 2008

By KATE HAIROPOULOS / The Dallas Morning News
khairopoulos@dallasnews.com

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – By the time Texas A&M defensive end Michael Bennett checked his phone after the Aggies' win at New Mexico, he had "about 20" calls from his younger brother Martellus, the Dallas Cowboys' tight end.

While Bennett made what could have been the play of the game – swooping up a lost Lobo fumble and setting up the decisive A&M touchdown early in the fourth quarter – he also made a bit of a gaffe.

Bennett, who has rebounded from academic issues last season, could've chugged all the way down the sideline – he made it 37 yards – but stepped out of bounds at the Lobo 21.

"I should've scored on that play, but you know, I ran out of gas," he said. "I was running as fast as I could. It was hard to breathe in New Mexico."

Coach Mike Sherman said he was a little worried because he was running with Bennett (6-4, 261) and felt like he was keeping up with him for a time.

"I'm running with him, and someone cut my legs out from underneath me," Sherman said. "I'm sure that will be on highlights somewhere."

Johnson's chance: Backup quarterback Jerrod Johnson said he felt prepared when he stepped in for injured starter Stephen McGee after the first drive of the game.

"Stephen's really supportive," Johnson said. "The team did a great job to rally around me."

JIM THOMPSON/The Associated Press
AP
Texas A&M quarter- back Jerrod Johnson hands off to running back Cyrus Gray.

Sherman said Johnson had some difficulty in remembering formations but did a good job, especially because the backup doesn't get many snaps in practice.

"If he didn't do the job he did, we wouldn't have won the ballgame," Sherman said.

McGee, who suffered a shoulder injury, will be further evaluated at home.

Briefly: Jordan Peterson's 48-yard interception return for a touchdown at 7:07 in the first quarter was A&M's first defensive score since 2004. ... Running back Mike Goodson suffered a strained right knee but returned for limited action. ... A&M had just 236 yards of total offense and earned 10 penalties after having only one in the season opener.

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