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Lions, leading rusher Johnson ink deal through ’18

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions continue to re-assemble their league-leading rushing attack, announcing Friday they’ve agreed to a new contract with Jeremiah Johnson.

Johnson, 29, was due to become a free agent on Feb. 14 and will now be with the Lions through at least 2018.

“Jeremiah gave us good production from the running back position last year and this is great news for our offence,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono.

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Matt Smith/CFL.ca

After pacing the CFL’s No. 1 rushing attack, Jeremiah Johnson will be back in 2017 (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

Starting 11 of the team’s 18 regular season games while platooning the position with teammate Anthony Allen last year, Jeremiah recorded 809 yards on 138 carries (5.9 avg) with seven touchdowns. He hit the 100-yard mark in three of his 11 games and had more than 70 rushing yards in two other starts. His 159-yard effort versus Montreal on September 9th was a season-high for the Leos and a career-high for Johnson.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this team moving forward,” said Johnson, who intends on spending the off-season in the Vancouver area. “We have a very good opportunity to achieve great things with the team we’re putting together in 2017.”

Versatile and athletic, Jeremiah added another 131 yards on 12 receptions last season. His playoff debut in the Western Semi-Final was particularly outstanding as he piled-up 110 yards on 11 carries including a 40-yard romp for a major in the win over Winnipeg.