Stamps running back's accomplishments food for thought

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:59 AM ET

CALGARY - It’s tough to say what stat-line is more impressive.

In five of his past outings, Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish has racked up 336 rushing yards, added 166 more through the air and scored two touchdowns.

In the same one-month span, the B.C.-born ball-carrier shelled out only $132.94 for groceries.

“If you’d been following my football career, I’ve shown what I can do on the football field,” Cornish said after Wednesday’s practice at McMahon Stadium, not long after learning he’d been named the CFL’s Top Canadian for the month of September, an award span that also included Saturday’s 40-3 rout of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the first day of October.

“But nobody believed that I could accomplish eating only $150 worth of food. Nobody believed that at all, and I have the receipts to prove it was really easy.

“I was eating well. I was enjoying lots of different kinds of food. So I think that was more of an accomplishment. It shows that if you set your mind to something — well, I think both show that if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.”

In just his second outing since unseating Joffrey Reynolds as the Stamps’ starting running back, Cornish shredded Saskatchewan’s defence for 181 combined yards and two majors last week.

On Tuesday, he was named the CFL’s offensive player of the week and top Canadian. The next day, Cornish won the monthly award, too, thanks in large part to an impressive 9.9-yard average in his past five games.

“It might not have been the greatest of months for our team, but for me, I was really focused on being the best player I could be,” Cornish said. “I was trying to get great night’s sleeps. I was doing my meal plan, so my nutrition was great. I was just taking care of everything I had to do time-wise. I was really putting myself first, in terms of taking care of myself.”

The Stamps put Cornish first — on the depth chart, that is — before Touchdown Atlantic II in Moncton, making Reynolds a healthy scratch and activating rookie LaMarcus Coker to serve as Cornish’s backup and replacement on special teams.

So far, Cornish has left little doubt he can handle the increased workload.

Heading into Saturday’s clash with the Lions at B.C, Place Stadium, Cornish ranks sixth on the CFL’s rushing charts with 485 yards, good enough for second among homegrown ball-carriers. Edmonton’s Jerome Messam has registered 623 yards on the ground, although he’s had twice as many carries as Cornish.

It’s been more than a decade since a Canadian running back hit the 1,000-yard plateau, a feat last accomplished by B.C.’s Sean Millington in 2000, but Cornish figures quadruple digits is likely out of reach.

“That’s pushing it. And I’m not trying for 1,000,” said Cornish, who also has 291 receiving yards so far this season. “This season, my goal was 1,000 combined yards, and now that I have the opportunity to get a few more reps, I’ll probably be setting my sights a little bit higher. ”

Another month like September would certainly be satisfactory.

During Wednesday’s media session, Cornish was asked if he owes the Stamps’ offensive linemen a meal as thanks for his recent run of success.

“I will take care of a dinner sooner or later, but I’ll cook it myself,” Cornish said with a grin.

Question is, could he feed the so-called ‘hoggies’ for less than $150?

“Oh yeah, easily,” Cornish said. “I’d probably pay about seven bucks for the rice. I could buy enough steaks for the whole offensive line for about $15. I could even throw chicken legs in there for another eight. I could feed the entire O line for $30.”

Now that’s a feat.


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