Hands off rush title

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:42 AM ET

Like CNN on election night, Fred Reid has already declared a winner in the CFL rushing race well before it's over.

It's him.

Despite trailing Joffrey Reynolds of the Calgary Stampeders by 38 yards with two weeks to go, the Bomber tailback believes he will be on top when the regular season wraps up next Sunday.

"I'm going to pull it out," Reid said. "Guaranteed."

Reynolds, the 2008 rushing king, is once again on top of the three-down loop with 1,295 yards, and Reid is next with 1,257. B.C.'s Martell Mallett is in third spot with 1,171, but he is expected to miss this weekend's action due to a high ankle sprain.

In other words, it's going to be Reynolds and Reid down the stretch. Just don't mention that to Reid, who shot that notion down when it was suggested yesterday.

"It's going to be me down the stretch. Just me. No Joffrey," Reid said. "He's up right now. He better enjoy it. He won't finish at the top.

"I'm jacked up. I'm so jacked up. I'm ready to go. It's mine this year."

Reid is in his first full year as Winnipeg's starting tailback. He was behind Charles Roberts on the depth chart last season and then shared duties with the man Blink was traded for, Joe Smith, in the second half of the campaign.

Smith was released in training camp, and Reid became the go-to guy. He had a franchise-record 260 yards against the B.C. Lions in August but has failed to crack the century mark in eight games since.

Hip and rib injuries have slowed Reid recently, but it's Michael Bishop and the receivers that have been his biggest hindrance of late.

"We've just been getting the passing game going," Reid said. "No reason to get away from that when you're passing the ball good, so I'm not complaining.

"Some games I probably could've got 100 yards, but it's all good. If we get the win, I'm fine with that. I'm still up there near the top of the rushing list."

Reid said Manny Matsakis, who runs Winnipeg's offence, is well aware of his desire to snag the league's rushing crown.

"I told him a long time ago, weeks ago, that this is my rushing title this year," Reid said. "He knows, and we plan on getting it this year. No doubt about it.

"I'm going to get it, man. It's right there. So there's no reason for me not to get it. I've got two games left, and I feel like I can rack up a lot of yards these last two."

Reid, who returned to the practice field yesterday after sitting out on Tuesday and Wednesday, will have his work cut out for him on Sunday when the Bombers (7-9) visit the Alouettes (13-3). Not only will the Als be seeking revenge after getting smoked 41-24 in Winnipeg on Saturday, the Montreal linebackers likely remember Reid telling the Sun in August that they were "not all that good."

Reid has 117 yards on 30 carries in three games against the Alouettes this season.

If Reid can walk the walk, it would mark the fourth time in the last seven seasons that Winnipeg employed the CFL's rushing king. Roberts won in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Reid isn't sure if Reynolds is aware that he's not going to repeat as the rushing champ this season.

"I hope he knows it," Reid said. "I don't know if he knows or not, but he's going to know it."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

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RUSHING TITLE

CONTENDERS

Player Yds

J.Reynolds, Cgy, 1,295

Fred Reid, Wpg 1,257

M.Mallett, B.C. 1,171

A. Cobourne, Mtl 1,144

J.Robertson, Tor 1,023

A.Whitlock, Edm 1,014


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