October 2, 2012
Lions' Andrew Harris overshadowed by Stampeders' Jon Cornish
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
If Andrew Harris was ticked off at Jon Cornish, who would blame him?
Cornish is getting all the headlines across the CFL — the latest ones having to do with him topping 1,000 yards and having the fifth-best rushing season by a Canadian ever.
But what the B.C. Lions running back is on pace for this season is even more rare, even if it’s getting overshadowed by the fellow Canuck with the Calgary Stampeders.
Only once in history has a Canadian led the league in yards from scrimmage, and Harris has a 51-yard lead over Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets and 109 over Cornish.
The only player to do it was Stampeders receiver Terry Evanshen in 1967.
Now, the door could be open for Harris on another another rarity. With Arland Bruce and Geroy Simon both going out due to injury Saturday in Regina, the 25-year-old could take over the team lead in receiving yardage if those veteran stars are out for a while.
Not since Willie Fleming with the ’63 Lions has one player led his team in both rushing and receiving during the same year.
It used to happen occasionally in the 1950s and ’60s before passing attacks exploded, but Harris is a special case.
The speedy scatback doesn’t have the straight-ahead power that Cornish has, but once he gets into the open field, he’s hard to track down.
The Lions use him constantly for short passes, and Harris does the work. He leads the CFL in yards after the catch with 475 of his 577 coming after he gets the ball in his hands.
Harris only needs 158 rushing yards to become the ninth Canadian all-time to hit the 1,000-yard mark.
Although Cornish picked up the Canadian player-of-the-week award Wednesday — his sixth this season — voters will have a tough time deciding on most outstanding Canadian this season.
With Cornish, Harris and Sheets all emerging as top rushers, this season is also unique for having new stars.
This is the first time since ’94, when Mike Pringle led a group of six players, that every 1,000-yard rusher in a season will hit that mark for the first time.
On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby