October 3, 2012

On the Cusp: Cornish eying CFL record books


CFL.ca Staff

CALGARY — As if his season wasn’t successful enough already, Calgary running back Jon Cornish has the chance to join some elite company in the Stampeders’ season finale against the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night.

With 1,388 rushing yards under his belt, Cornish needs just 50 yards to surpass former Stampeder Normie Kwong for the highest rushing total in a single season by a Canadian.

Kwong currently owns two of the top three rushing totals in a season by a Canadian, having registered seasons of 1,250 and 1,437 yards consecutively (1955-56).

Sitting just behind Kwong and Cornish is former Blue Bomber Gerry James, who rushed for 1,205 yards and 1,192 yards in 1957 and 1955 respectively.

Regardless of whether Cornish accomplishes the elusive feat or not, there is no denying that he has put together one of the most productive seasons by a Canadian in league history.

Heading into the final week of action, Cornish has a 145-yard lead over Roughriders tailback Kory Sheets for the league rushing crown. Should Cornish maintain his lead over Sheets, he would become the first Canadian to win the rushing title since Orville Lee accomplished the feat in 1988.

It’s been a noteworthy season for Canadian tailbacks, as alongside Cornish, BC rusher Andrew Harris has been quietly making his mark in the backfield.

Heading into BC’s final regular season game, a Saturday night tilt with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Harris has registered 1,055 yards, the eighth highest total by a Canadian back in league history.

While recording his personal accomplishment, Harris enabled himself and Cornish to become the first Canadians in 56 years to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

Kwong and James  were the last Canadians to accomplish the feat together back in 1956.

Best Single-Season Rushing Totals by a Canadian
Player Year Yards
N. Kwong 1956 1,437
J. Cornish 2012 1,388
N. Kwong
G. James 1955
G. James 1957 1,192
O. Lee 1988 1,075
J. Messam 2011 1,057
Andrew Harris 2012 1,055
B. Swift 1964 1,054
N. Kwong 1957 1,033
R. Stewart 1960 1.020
S. Millington 2000 1.010