Stampeders' Cornish gives chase
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
|Calgary Stampeders' Jon Cornish (L) is tackled by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Marcellus Bowman during the first half of their CFL football game in Winnipeg, October 13, 2012. (Reuters/FRED GREENSLADE)
CALGARY - So much for enjoying the moment.
Jon Cornish doesn’t sound like he’s completely enjoying the pursuit of a CFL record that has stood for more than five decades.
The Calgary Stampeders running back is just 163 yards shy of becoming the league’s top single-season rushers among Canadians.
Normie Kwong set the mark with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1956.
Cornish isn’t as enamoured with the feat as others seem to be.
“I’m trying to see what I can do this year,” Cornish said when asked if breaking the record was a motivation.
“In terms of my long-term career goals, I’d like to get it out of the way because it’s something people talk about.
“Once you break the record, they can start talking about other things.
“It’ll be nice to say you’re in the record books, but for me, it’s something I’ll think about after the season.”
Cornish leads the league with 1,275 yards along the ground.
That’s also 163 yards ahead of the next closest guy, Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets.
And it’s 292 yards more than B.C. Lions back Andrew Harris, Cornish’s top competition for the league’s top Canadian award.
But if you think Cornish is more interested in that discussion, you’d be mistaken.
“There’s a lot of talk about (the record) and who’s going to be top Canadian,” the New Westminster, B.C., product said. “Quite frankly, it’s tiring. I’ve stopped reading most media because it’s being generated by different sources.
“People talk about you and it’s annoying. Hopefully getting the record will alleviate some of that talk.
“It’s well before the end of the season and people are trying to speculate about the end of it. That’s not how it works.”
Cornish is not only poised to crush the Canadian record, he’s on pace to put up some of the finest numbers in team history.
At his current clip, he’d finish with 1,530 yards, which would be the fifth-best total churned out by a Stamps back.
Only Willie Burden (1,896 yards), Earl Lunsford (1,794), Lovell Coleman (1,629) and Joffrey Reynolds (1,541) have enjoyed finer campaigns.
And the 27-year-old can thank the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the kick-start.
Cornish had yet to threaten the 100-yard mark in any of the five games heading into the Aug. 9 tilt in Steeltown.
He had minus-one yard rushing the previous game and then went for a then-career best 170 yards against the Tabbies.
He expects the Ticats defence will want to avoid giving him an encore performance.
“Everybody does, especially at this point,” he said. “They say ‘oh, we got to stop Cornish’ and they put about 20 guys in the box.
“That’s life. That’s how it goes.”
On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher