Stampeders star Jon Cornish earns fourth all-star nod

 

 
 
 
 
Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish yells at the refs from the sidelines in the second half after he had to leave Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium November 1.
 

Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish yells at the refs from the sidelines in the second half after he had to leave Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium November 1.

Photograph by: Ted Rhodes, Calgary Herald

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The numbers are pretty astonishing, but there seems to be one number in particular a lot of people refer to when they look at the 2014 Canadian Football League season of Jon Cornish: the fact that he played in just nine games.

“I know I won’t be CFLPA all-star this year; they have an 11-game requirement,” Cornish said.

“A lot of people are talking about the games I missed. People don’t talk about the games I did play, because if you talk about those … (he chuckled).”

In the games the Calgary Stampeders running back did aplay, he averaged 120.2 yards on the ground per game en route to this third consecutive league rushing title with 1,082 yards. Because of those half-season heroics, Cornish was named to the CFL West Division all-star team for the fourth time .

On Thursday, the West Division award winners will be announced and Cornish — the team’s Most Outstanding Canadian and Most Outstanding Player nominee — will be tuned in.

“Before I was selected, I didn’t care,” he said. “Since I was selected, it’s important for me to represent the team as well as I can and if I’m selected, it’s great. If I don’t, oh well. That wasn’t one of my goals this year. If I do get selected for MOC or MOP, I’d be pretty happy.”

Cornish was quick to point to the unit that he believes has meant the most to the offence and that would be the line.

“It’s funny because I read an article that came out and Rob Cote was saying we’re a team that just grinds it out, we have a bunch of different guys, a bunch of different people have had to carry the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball,” he said. “But I think the core of our team is our offensive line and we have two selections from there, so I think that’s telling because those guys have prevented us from having many sacks and they’ve gotten us a lot of yards on the ground and protected the quarterbacks so they can throw the ball down the field. I think it’s those guys that are the real core of our offence.”

Both centre Brett Jones and offensive tackle Stanley Bryant were chosen for the second time, and they were, fittingly, the constants. Bryant started in all but one game, while the sophomore Jones suited up for all 18. The latter is the Stamps’ nominee for the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award.

“All the other guys, the running backs with Jon and the success we’ve had with Bo (quarterback Mitchell), that’s just a reflection of the work we’ve done,” said Jones.

Included in that is the fact that the Stamps’ O-line has allowed a league-low 26 sacks, while opening up such nice holes to permit the runners an average of 143.9 yards per game, also a league high.

“I don’t think we could pick one,” said Jones, asked which of those he’s happiest about. “Maybe Bo or Jon would get mad at you. That’s our job and we take pride in both those numbers.”

The absence of more offensive skill players on the all-star team means one thing, according to head coach/GM John Hufnagel.

“I think you have to say we’re a very well-rounded offence,” Hufnagel said. “We don’t rely on just one phase of the game or one or two particular players. We try to get them all involved, get their hands on the ball and when that has occurred, most times they’ve taken good advantage of the opportunity and made plays for us.”

On special teams, punter Rob Maver was honoured for the third time. He averaged 45.4 yards on 123 punts and ranked second in the league in net punting with an average of 37.8 yards.

 
 
 
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Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish yells at the refs from the sidelines in the second half after he had to leave Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium November 1.
 

Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish yells at the refs from the sidelines in the second half after he had to leave Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium November 1.

Photograph by: Ted Rhodes, Calgary Herald

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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