Former St. Thomas More player of the year Jon Cornish became the Canadian all-time single-season rushing leader in the Canadian Football League.
The sixth-year Calgary Stampeders' running back rushed for a total of 69 yards, including a record-breaking 22-yard romp up the middle, in a 30-27 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday.
"I knew I was going to get it on the very first run," said Cornish on a long-distance call Sunday. "It's like when you get into the game, you're in a zone and it's just a matter of time.
"I felt pretty good. ... Edmonton was stacking the box and trashing me (saying they would let him get the record). I was just waiting for that moment."
Cornish's record-setting first-down run came on the final play of the third quarter, breaking the 56-year-old mark set by the China Clipper Edmonton fullback Normie Kwong.
Cornish finished the regular season with 1,457 total yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry for the 12-6 West Division runner-up Stamps.
In 1956, Kwong averaged 6.20 yards a carry and scored five TDs in a 1,437-yard season with the Eskimos.
Kwong now holds the second- and third-best single-season rushing totals. The former Eskie great also rushed for 1,250 yards in 1955.
Winnipeg Blue Bomber great Gerry James holds claim to the fourth- and fifth-best totals, set in 1955 and '57, respectively.
Former B.C. Lions running back Orville Lee sits in seventh place with 1,075 yards set in 1988.
Current Lions' running back Andrew Harris moved past Lee into sixth spot on Saturday with 1,112 in total rushing yardage following B.C.'s 17-6 victory over Saskatchewan at B.C. Place on Saturday.
Coincidentally, Cornish's CFL rushing total of 1,457 yards matches the exact same number he put up in his senior year at the University of Kansas, when established a new all-time single-season school record in 2006. In his final NCAA Division I varsity season, Cornish finished first in the Big 12 conference in rushing and ninth overall in the nation.
Cornish called the coincidence "pretty creepy" but passed it off, saying this might be the most remarkable accomplishment of his football career.
"Coach (John) Hufnagel gave me that opportunity and I've always said, 'when you get that opportunity you have to shine,' and I didn't want to let go of that chance," Cornish added.
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