Rushin' revolution

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

Joffrey Reynolds is quietly piecing together one of the best seasons ever posted by a Calgary Stampeders running back.

Quietly, because it's never easy prying words out of the Houston product's mouth, although he's making plenty of noise on the football field.

No matter how high up the rushing ladder he climbs this year, Reynolds will smile and shrug, then tell you he's just doing his job.

Maybe so but he's running right into the Stampeders' record book while almost certainly earning the team's nomination for most outstanding player honours.

His 1,300 yards through 16 games is just 84 shy of vaulting him into fifth-place on the Stampeders' all-time single-season list, ahead of Kelvin Anderson's 1,383 in 2001, his best campaign in Red and White.

Reynolds even snuck up on offensive lineman Jay McNeil, a 12-year veteran who helped push Anderson to seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

"Really?" McNeil whistled when informed of Reynolds' numbers. "Wow, that's really something. He hasn't gotten a lot of fanfare, sort of flown under the radar and that's fine with us.

"There isn't a running back in the league I'd rather be blocking for right now."

In his first full CFL season, Reynolds could even claim the league rushing crown.

He trails Winnipeg's Charles Roberts by 208 yards but has two games remaining while Roberts and the struggling 5-12 Bombers will pack away their gear after hosting the Stampeders tomorrow (2 p.m., TSN).

While Winnipeg's run defence has been brutal this season -- ranked last in the CFL after allowing 124 yards per game -- the Stamps face the Edmonton Eskimos stingy run defence the following Sunday. The Esks have allowed on average just 72 yards per game.

Finishing atop the rushing stats would trigger plenty of accolades but the last person spouting off about his great season will be the rather shy and quiet Reynolds.

On the other hand, linemen such as guard Taylor Robertson are more than happy to do the talking for him.

"He doesn't go out there talking (garbage) to people," Robertson said. "He just does his job, shuts up, hits the hole and carries people. He takes care of his business."

While Reynolds has caught wind of the durable Anderson, a Stampeders legend who compiled 8,292 yards in seven seasons (1996-2002), he's much more interested in No. 32's Grey Cup totals.

"The season totals for yards are always nice but how many rings did he get? Two? Three?" Reynolds wondered aloud before being informed Anderson earned Cup rings in 1998 and 2001.

"That's what I want to happen and with us going to the playoffs, we'll have that chance," Reynolds said.

"A thousand yards is kind of like a measuring stick for success for a skill position guy but my thing is really just going out and helping the team win."

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WHAT A RUSH! RUNNING TOTALS

Most single-season rushing yards by a Stampeder in one season:

                  

YDS RUSHER YEAR

1,896 Willie Burden 1975

1,794 Earl Lunsford 1961

1,629 Lovell Coleman 1964

1,509 Lovell Coleman 1965

1,383 Kelvin Anderson 2001

1,343 Earl Lunsford 1960

1,343 Lovell Coleman 1963

1,325 Kelvin Anderson 1998

1,306 Kelvin Anderson 1999

1,300 Joffrey Reynolds 2005*

*two games remaining

NOTE: IN 1986 CFL REGULAR SEASONS WERE EXPANDED FROM 16 TO 18 GAMES.


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