Cornish delivers 'The Block'

Stampeders running back Jon Cornish gets tackled by the Eskimos defence at McMahon stadium in...

Stampeders running back Jon Cornish gets tackled by the Eskimos defence at McMahon stadium in Calgary, Alta., Sept. 3, 2012. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:38 AM ET

CALGARY - Running backs get paid to run the ball.

But if you can’t do anything else, you may not get paid at all.

Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish showed his willingness to block when he delivered a devastating hit that knocked Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman Almondo Sewell down for several minutes.

“That was the first time this season,” Cornish said of his knockout blow.

“It makes me feel like I’m a special-teamer again.

“Special teams allowed me to get out a lot of aggression. I certainly had a lot of it in the first half. I was ready to go.

“I’ve been looking to make a hit like that for awhile.”

Cornish ran for 71 yards and also hauled in a pass, juked out Esks league-leading tackler J.C. Sherritt and sprinted into the endzone.

But it was ‘The Block’ that showed his commitment to doing the little things right.

Esks running back Cory Boyd — who was leading the league in rushing a few weeks back — was scratched by the Stamps rivals for Monday’s game for not executing even the simplest of blocking assignments. He was previously cut by the Toronto Argonauts because he couldn’t block.

And now, with running back Jerome Messam back in Edmonton, it appears Boyd may be looking for another new home because he won’t get his hands dirty.

That won’t happen to Cornish.

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in my blocking,” Cornish said. “I think it’s part of the reason why I’m a starter — because I’m a reasonably good blocker.

“I’m happy to contribute to the team effort.”

LONG SNAPS

Oh, Joe, say it ain’t so.

Esks returner Joe Burnett got ripped on national TV last week by Green & Gold head coach Kavis Reed after bringing the ball out of the endzone in the fourth quarter.

It didn’t appear to sink in.

Up by a point with just over a minute to play, Stamps K Rob Maver drilled a kickoff 10 yards deep into the endzone — and Burnett brought it out again.

And he was dropped on his 10-yard line ... again.

Esks kicker Grant Shaw ended up missing a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the game.

How much closer would he have been if the Esks had started the last drive on their 35-yard line?

Reed said the coaching staff has to take some of the blame.

“The decision was not the right one to bring the ball out,” Reed said. “It’s disappointing that it happened, but he’s a very young player, and we have to do a much better job coaching-wise to make certain he understands circumstances and situations.

“When they’re kicking a ball off, we have an opportunity to communicate effectively what the situation is, and they were kicking with a very heavy wind.

“And, smartly so, they were trying to kick it for depth and force us to concede it, so we can’t punt for the single and send it into overtime.

“Given his inexperience, that’s probably why the mistake was made. But we have to do a better job coaching-wise to make certain he understands the circumstance and the situation.”

SHORT YARDAGE

The attendance for Monday’s Battle of Alberta showdown was 32,102 fans — well below capacity (35,650). This game used to be an automatic sellout (it’s the second time since 1996 that the game was not sold out). The weather was great, and both teams are competitive and fighting for playoff positioning. So, why were there 4,000-plus empty seats? ... Now, that Argos K Noel ‘The Punisher’ Prefontaine is out with an injury, Esks P Burke Dales might be the toughest kicker in the league. Dales went to the locker-room in the first quarter after he was gang-tackled when he failed to get his first punt away. But he came back for a couple of boots, noticeably limping, and was able to launch a few nice kicks. Of course, football fans in Calgary have long known Dales is no shrinking violet. Saskatchewan Roughriders K Sandro DeAngelis, who received a black eye from his former Stamps teammate when him and Dales were in Calgary, can attest to that ... Stamps SB Nik Lewis, with 676 yards so far this season for 9,908 in his career, passed former Ottawa Rough Riders great Tony Gabriel (9,832) for 17th on the CFL’s all-time receiving list.

EXTRA POINTS

Stampeders K Rene Paredes has hit 16-of-18 field goals this season. His sparkling 88.9% conversion percentage is tops in the league ... Eskimos boss Reed insisted Sunday this is still QB Steven Jyles’ team, regardless of what QB Kerry

Joseph did Monday. But the vet looked pretty good, throwing for 311 yards and a pair of TDs ... The Stampeders scratched RB LaMarcus Coker, DL Akwasi Antwi, OL Mark Dewit, WR Chris Bauman. Not dressed for the Eskimos were Boyd, OL Scott Mitchell, DB Delroy Clarke and PK Derek Schiavone.

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


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