He can Reid but not count

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

If not for a seldom broken rule, Fred Reid would have the No. 2 rushing game in history.

Instead, he had to settle for No. 3.

Late in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-10 victory over the B.C. Lions Friday night in Vancouver, the running back went down with a leg injury.

Two plays later, Reid returned to the field and scampered through Lions defenders for a 24-yard touchdown that gave him 269 rushing yards in the game, surpassing George Reed's mark of 268 in 1965.

But the Bombers erred in sending their star back on the field. When a player goes down with injury and requires a trainer's attention, he must sit for three plays. The TD was wiped off the board.

The CFL doesn't have stats on how often this rule is broken, as it is called illegal substitution and there are many of those penalties, but this is the most crucial one in recent history.

"If there is a mistake and he comes out before three plays are out, we hope we catch him before he gets onto the field," said CFL director of officiating Tom Higgins.

"That's why this doesn't happen all that regularly. There's a second opportunity to catch the mistake if the club may not count correctly.

"We missed him, but we got it. He breaks the record, scores the touchdown, but we get it right after the fact. We take responsibility, but the club has to as well."

As it stands, Reid finished with 260 rushing yards after piling up 15 more yards, good enough for the third-best game in CFL history, which also broke the Bombers record of 249 set by Blaise Bryant in 1994.

OPENING DRIVE

The Lions defence will go into the record books, along with Fred Reid, and that's not exactly leaving a good feeling with the team that thought it shored up its rush defence by adding LB JoJuan Armour. The former Calgary Stampeder took the bullet for the performance. "It's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed for my performance, and I apologize to my team. There was no excuse for it," Armour said ... Impressive on-field debut for Alouettes QB Chris Leak, who threw one pass for one yard and a touchdown. Leak, who won a national college championship with the Florida Gators after the 2006 season, also rushed once for two yards in replacing second-string QB Adrian McPherson. It's a testament to Leak's perseverance he has finally found a niche. Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman explained the situation by saying it takes quarterbacks longer to find the right fit. "Some are drafted first overall," Trestman said. "Some go 199th, and some work in grocery stores."

ENDZONE TOSS

Argos DB Byron Parker returned to the Argos last week, and the 28-year-old can resume his chase of a record. Parker has six interception-return touchdowns, two behind Malcolm Frank and Dick Thornton for most all-time. Parker has his in just three seasons, while Frank (11) and Thornton (12) took much longer ... CFL director of officiating Tom Higgins is no longer in the command centre with Jake Ireland monitoring replay reviews. Higgins did join Ireland for the first few weeks but now believes the former referee doesn't need his boss looking over his shoulder. As for the new system, Higgins gives it all a thumbs up. "Jake is doing an extremely good job," Higgins said. The system is working "better than ever anticipated. We're saving 40 to 60 seconds per challenge. It's been huge. Nothing is perfect, but one person making the decision consistently off a high definition television, being able to play things back and forth, it's working fantastic."

EXTRA POINTS

The difference between a win and a loss before the bye week was evident in Edmonton and Calgary. While the Eskimos relished their time off after a close victory over the Stamps, an airlift occurred in Calgary. Defensive linemen Devone Claybrooks and Jim Davis, plus linebacker Tim Johnson were brought in to solve the rush defence problem The Stamps coaches were busy self-scouting, which was much easier for the offensive staff after a productive 519-yard performance ... Lions coach Wally Buono is slow to tie and break Don Matthews coaching wins record. Maybe Buono wanted to wait to equal Matthews' mark of 231 wins against The Don's former team, the Alouettes. The Lions have a home-and-home with the East Division leaders following the bye ... The Blue Bombers are averaging nearly eight more rushing yards per game (161.1) than passing yards (153.6) this season.


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