THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER -- Andrew Harris is approaching hallowed ground as his B.C. Lions prepare to face the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday.
Harris, a 25-year-old Winnipeg native who reached the CFL via the junior football ranks rather than the traditional university route, needs just 17 more yards rushing to reach 1,000 for the first time in his career. If he surpasses the mark Friday, he will become just the ninth Canadian running back since the 2000 season to do so.
"There's a lot of pride that goes along with (1,000 yards), being a Canadian,'' said Harris.
The tailback plays a position usually reserved for imports but has paved the way for more Canadians to play there since emerging as a star last season. But Harris will be even more proud if he breaks the 1,000-yard rushing barrier and the Lions get a win over the Eskimos.
"It was a goal for me to get 1,000 rushing and 700 receiving,'' he said. "If I can accomplish that (Friday), it'll be (the realization of) a great goal of mine.''
Collectively, the Lions are also trying to achieve an important goal - first place in the West Division, a first-round bye and home-field playoff advantage.
"Coming into this game, I want to clinch first and I want to get this win so we can kind of ease back for these next couple weeks here and rest up,'' said Harris.
With or without the 1,000 rushing yards, which appear inevitable, Harris has already had a memorable season, helping the Lions dominate the West a year after they started 0-5 before staging a miraculous rally to earn a playoff berth and win the Grey Cup. He has rushed and caught passes for 1,666 combined yards from scrimmage, surpassing a record for Canadians that Terry Evanshen had held since 1967.
He is also in position to accumulate 2,000 yards from scrimmage. But getting ready for the post-season is more important to him.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|