Jon Cornish reaches rushing milestone in Stampeders' victory
Canadian running back breaks 1,000-yard mark to help extend Eskimos' losing streak
Jon Cornish broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season and scored two touchdowns Friday as the Calgary Stampeders thumped the Edmonton Eskimos 39-15.
With a 73-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, Cornish became the eighth Canadian running back in CFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
The 27-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., joined Norm Kwong, Gerry James, Ron Stewart, Bob Swift, Orville Lee, Sean Millington and Jerome Messam in the Canadian 1,000-yard club. Messam, an Eskimos running back from Brampton, Ont., ran for 1,057 yards last season.
Touchdown catches from Johnny Forzani and Nik Lewis, along with a trio of field goals from Rene Paredes, also helped Calgary improve to 8-5. The Stampeders trail the division-leading B.C. Lions by two points.
Edmonton quarterback Matt Nichols ran for a touchdown in his first CFL start. Slotback Fred Stamps also scored for the visitors, who lost their fifth in a row and dropped to 5-8. It's the first time in franchise history the Eskimos were winless in the month of September.
Cornish was held to 67 yards in a 30-25 loss to Saskatchewan last week. Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin had vowed to cut a player if Cornish achieved over 100 yards in that game.
The Eskimos couldn't contain the six-foot, 220-pound rusher who played in his 100th career game. Cornish romped for 180 yards on 20 carries, including 131 in the first half.
It's been an interesting week for the CFL's leading rusher. Cornish was fined an undisclosed amount of money by the league and admonished by Calgary coach Jon Hufnagel for pulling down his pants and "mooning" Roughriders fans at Mosaic Stadium. Cornish apologized for his actions.
Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 21-of-28 passes for 292 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was Glenn's fifth straight game of at least 250 passing yards.
Edmonton handed Nichols the ball because Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph were deemed not healthy enough to play. Both quarterbacks dressed Friday, but Nichols played the entire game. The 25-year-old was 14-for-26 passing for 167 yards and one touchdown.
Calgary is undefeated against Edmonton in three meetings this season. The Stamps clinched the season series after beating their northern rivals 31-30 on Labour Day and 20-18 in the rematch four days later.
There was no fight to the finish Friday as the Stamps were in control in front of 29,290 at McMahon Stadium.
Lewis's diving five-yard grab at 6:50 of the fourth quarter was his eighth touchdown catch of the season, while Cornish's one-yard dive at 1:34 was his ninth TD on the ground.
The Esks trailed by 10 points after a 17-yard touchdown run from Nichols at 13:18 of the third quarter.
Calgary led 25-8 on a 27-yard field goal from Parades at 9:05.
Edmonton's Hugh Charles was tackled in the end zone by Kenny Pettway to give up two points to the Stamps as the Eskimos fell behind 22-8 midway through the third.
After a scoreless first quarter, both teams got going in the second.
A Lewis block on Edmonton's Donovan Alexander gave Cornish the room he needed to scamper for a touchdown and CFL history at 1:07 of the second quarter.
A wide-open Forzani then caught Glenn's 44-yard touchdown pass at 8:18 to make it 14-0 for the hosts.
Stamps scored Edmonton's first TD at 9:40 making a difficult grab under pressure from Calgary's Keon Raymond.
Paredes extended Calgary's lead to 20-7 at the half with field goals from 11 and 28 yards in the second quarter.
Second-quarter scoring compensated for a sluggish first.
Penalties put Calgary in poor field position when they had the ball. The Eskimos had decent field position in the opening 15 minutes, but Nichols was trying to find his timing and completed just two of his first six passes.
Edmonton hosts the Tiger-Cats next Friday. Calgary is in B.C. next week for the first of two straight road games.