Stamps' Cornish runs all over Esks
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish runs the ball against the Edmonton Eskimos during CFL football action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, September 28, 2012. (AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)
There was a full moon over McMahon Stadium last night and Jon Cornish didn't have his pants down.
Indeed, when he scored his second touchdown of the game, Cornish hitched his pants up in a very exaggerated way as picked himself off the turf and headed to the bench.
Cornish, who mooned the Saskatchewan Roughriders fans last weekend, still managed to send the Eskimos home with red faced embarrassment, losing all five games in the month of September for the first time in their 63 year history.
That's all it took.
Cornish ripped off a 73-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to break up a 0-0 ball game in which the Eskimos had a big advantage in field position.
And then he took over the game.
Cornish ran for 131 yards in the first half and 180-yards for 20 carries in the game as the Stampeders won their third against the Eskimos in the month -- this one 39-15.
The loss essentially took Edmonton out of any chance of finishing with a home playoff game or finishing above .500 after an 11-7 season and their first home playoff game since 2004 last year.
Cornish, with that 73-yard run, became only the eighth Canadian to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.
The question was if he'd run for over 500 against Edmonton.
With 256 yards rushing in the two games of the Labour Day double dip, Cornish ended up with 436 for the three games against Edmonton.
He still has another opportunity to pile up the yards in the final game of the regular season in Commonwealth Stadium.
If this was J.C. Sherritt vs. Cornish, it was a third-straight win for the Calgary running back over the Edmonton linebacker, who went into the game with 101 tackles but only had three this night -- four fewer than his lowest total in any other game -- and didn't play the last 20 minutes due to a lower body injury, believed to be a knee.
At 104 tackles, it would be a crime if Sherritt misses games when he's only 25 tackles short of the CFL record of 129 for a season.
Down 20-7 at the half there was, perhaps, hope of a distant replay from the second-last time the Eskimos played three games in September against the Stampeders.
Back in 1975 the Eskimos came back from down 29-2 at the half to win 37-36 with the local sports columnist of the day deciding to fly home at half time.
This was only the third time the two teams have played three games in the month of September in over 40 years and in all three cases the third game was here.
The last time was in 1979, when Warren Moon made his first ever pro start. For the record the Eskimos lost that game, so young Matt Nichols ought not feel too bad about losing this one in his first ever pro start. That was a Grey Cup team. This one is now 5-8.
Nichols didn't have a great stat line for the night, going 14 for 26 for 167 yards with a touchdown pass to Fred Stamps. And he did put the ball in the end zone, calling his own number for a 17-yard score.
Nichols showed a lot of poise and presence, and anybody out there see any reason not to keep him starting next week?
The Eskimos lost more than a game here, they lost their grip on at least playing in the playoffs as a crossover team in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' 41-28 win over the Montreal Alouettes combined with the Eskimos loss, the two teams both have 5-8 records.
Hamilton had lost six of the last seven games before Henry Burris went wild, scoring five touchdowns against the Alouettes (only two less than Steven Jyles so far this season) to win their fifth game of the season.
To finish ahead of the Tiger-Cats and create a crossover playoff game, the last-place team in the West must have more points than the third place team in the East.
And the two teams meet next Friday night in Commonwealth Stadium when the Eskimos aren't playing for just themselves but for the 6-6 Saskatchewan Roughriders as well.
And when it comes to the West playoff picture, the following week the Eskimos play host to the Roughriders for the second time this season.
You get the idea. Their entire season could now be over in very short order.
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