Jon Cornish Will Break His Record for Rushing Yards by a Canadian

Jim FlanneryAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2013

MONTREAL, CANADA - JULY 12:  Jon Cornish #9 of the Calgary Stampeders jumps to avoid a tackle by Chip Cox #11 of the Montreal Alouettes during the CFL game at Percival Molson Stadium on July 12, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

For the second year in a row, Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish is having an outstanding season.

In 2012, Cornish broke Normie Kwong's 56-year-old record for rushing by a Canadian when he racked up 1,457 yards on the ground. 

After a 114-yard performance Saturday night against the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Cornish is averaging 6.6 yards per carry and is actually ahead of his 2012 pace with five games yet to play.

Cornish has only been held under 50 yards in a game on two occasions this season. The first was in Week 2 when the Saskatchewan Roughriders were able to limit Cornish to just 42 yards on the ground and not even a single catch in a game the Riders won by a 36-21 score.

The only other game in which he was under 50 yards was the Week 9 game against the Toronto Argonauts that saw Cornish remain on the sidelines due to injury.

Saturday was the fifth time this season he has rushed for 100 or more yards, and he has been as high as 175 yards—plus four touchdowns—against the Roughriders in Week 7.

All things being equal, he should be able to improve on last year's number.

MONTREAL, CANADA - JULY 12:  Jon Cornish #9 of the Calgary Stampeders rushes with the ball while being held by John Bowman #7 of the Montreal Alouettes during the CFL game at Percival Molson Stadium on July 13, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Stamp
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

In the Stampeders' final five games, they have a mixed bag of competition. Next week, they face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who have been disastrously bad all season long, managing just two wins and giving up a league-high 421 points. When the Stamps faced the Bombers in Week 5, Calgary easily beat Winnipeg, 37-24. Cornish picked up 88 rushing yards and added 87 receiving yards for good measure.

They also take on the Edmonton Eskimos in Week 17. The Eskies are in last place in the West Division with only three wins, and Cornish is averaging 101.5 yards rushing per game against them this season.

The other three games could prove to be challenges. The Stampeders face the BC Lions twice. The Lions have been on a roll, winning their last three in a row. Calgary and BC have split their first two meetings of the season, but Cornish rushed for 172 yards in their first meeting and 73 in their second.

If he can post similar numbers against the Lions in the home stretch, he'll maintain his pace.

The other tough matchup will be in Week 18 when Calgary hosts Saskatchewan. Although the Riders have now dropped three games in a row—including one to the Blue Bombers—they remain a tough team with the stingiest defense in the CFL, having given up just 282 points in 12 games.

Cornish has had both his best rushing game and his worst rushing game of the season against the Roughriders. He needs to battle hard against Saskatchewan and earn another big game on the ground to outdo last year's performance, but he has proved that it is well within his abilities to do just that.

The only real question at this point is whether or not Cornish is the greatest Canadian player in the CFL's history. It may be a year or two too soon to tell, but it is looking good so far.


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