Cornish sets record, wins rushing title

Jon Cornish broke a 56-year-old record and captured the CFL rushing title at the same time on Friday.

The New Westminster native, who played high school football for the St. Thomas More Knights, had 14 carries for 69 yards to help the visiting Calgary Stampeders defeat the Edmonton Eskimos 30-27. That gave him 1,457 rushing yards for the season, which broke the previous record for Canadian running backs set by Normie Kwong of the Eskimos in 1956. However, Cornish set his mark during an 18-game schedule while Kwong did it in 15 games.

“It is a wonderful accomplishment for not only me, but the whole offence,” Cornish told reporters. “Any time you get a single player getting rushing yards it is contingent on the offensive line and blocking from receivers.

“I feel something like this is an indication there has been a return of the Canadian running back. There was a long period of time where there wasn’t really any and all of a sudden you have guys like (Edmonton’s) Jerome Messam, Andrew Harris (of the B.C. Lions) and myself. I’m hoping this is an inspiration for other Canadian running backs to see that they can play at this level.”

Cornish also became the first Canadian to win the CFL rushing title since Ottawa’s Orville Lee, who played university football for Simon Fraser University, did it in 1988.

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