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Stampeders' Cornish breaks Canadian rushing record

The Canadian Press

11/3/2012 1:21:16 AM

EDMONTON -- Jon Cornish has broken a record that stood for more than half of the CFL's 100-year history.

The Calgary Stampeders running back set a new single-season rushing record by a Canadian in a 30-27 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday, a record that was 56 years old.

A 22-yard carry by Cornish in the third quarter helped him surpass Normie Kwong, who set the mark of 1,437 yards in 1956.

Cornish entered the game needing just 50 yards to surpass Kwong's mark. He ended up with 14 carries for 69 yards, finishing the regular season with 1,457 yards. In his four games against Edmonton this season, he accounted for more than 500 of those yards.

The New Westminster, B.C., native was thrilled to get his name in the record books.

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

"I'm not going to lie, it feels quite wonderful. It's a record that stood the test of time. Normie Kwong has been the top of the tops of Canadian running backs for a long time and to be mentioned at the same time as him is an honour."

Cornish feels that Canadian running backs are becoming a force once again in the CFL and hopes that will continue.

"I feel something like this is an indication there has been a return of the Canadian running back," he said. "There was a long period of time where there wasn't really any and all of a sudden you have guys like Jerome Messam, Andrew Harris and myself. I'm hoping this is an inspiration for other Canadian running backs to see that they can play at this level."

Cornish, the league's rushing leader, is also trying to become the first Canadian to win the rushing title since Orville Lee in 1988.

The 27-year-old has spent his entire six-year CFL career with Calgary.

Cornish's record wasn't the only one recorded Friday. Eskimos linebacker J.C. Sherritt made his 11th tackle of the game with 39 seconds left to set a new league record for all-time single season tackles, surpassing Calvin Tiggle's previous mark of 129 in 1994.