Cornish relishes Grey Cup shot at Argos

 

 
 
 

TORONTO -- The last time Jon Cornish and the Toronto Argonauts met on a football field? Well, it didn't go so well for Cornish.

Typically, the Canadian Football League's newly crowned rushing champ keeps a level head during games. But back on Aug. 18 at McMahon Stadium, the Argos made it a priority to get under Cornish's skin, both in legal ways and, as judged by the Canadian Football League, illegal ways as Toronto linebackers Brandon Isaac and Marcus Ball were both fined for late hits on Cornish in the Argos' 22-14 win.

But instead of being concerned about the prospect of trying to deal with the Argos' potential tactics on Sunday in the 100th Grey Cup, Cornish has a rather different perspective.

"In fact, I'm looking forward to it," said Cornish, who was held to 43 rushing yards that evening (he rushed for 39 in the Week 2 loss in Toronto). "That's the dramatic change. If you think something is going to happen and you prepare to deal with it, that's a completely different beast than wanting it, looking forward to having engagements, having the opportunity to see who you are.

"For me, that's one reason I've been able to me more successful since the bye week. Rather than preparing for things, I've been looking forward to them. I've been preparing as WELL as looking forward to them. I relish the opportunity to face my fears, face the things that have been successful against me before."

As evidence, look no further than his treatment of the B.C. Lions. Since the much ballyhooed minus-one yard game in July, he rushed for 259 yards in three games, averaging more than six yards per carry

"Against B.C., the media made a big deal about that minus-one game," said Cornish. "For me, that game was a positive. I learned exactly what I need to do to prevent that from ever happening again.

"The last time we played Toronto, I got targeted. And that's cool. That's how it's going to be for the rest of my career. So I'd better show people now how it's going to be dealt with."

He should get plenty of attention on Sunday; while Isaac stopped short of saying the Argos "targeted" Cornish, he conceded that stopping him is always a priority.

"Think about this -- Cornish is a good player," said Isaac. "Let's not kid ourselves. However, he's a different type of player, a different type of person. When he gets up after tackles, watch him -- he's very aggressive, he's talking trash. We're edgy guys, too.

"I'll be the first to tell you, I lost my cool (resulting in the CFL fine). I accepted my punishment for what I did and I moved forward. But people don't look at Cornish and say how emotional he is. They just say he's a great running back. But we're aggressive. Marcus Ball hit him. I hit him. He was talking trash. We won't necessarily target him, but we know that to stop Calgary, you have to stop Cornish.

"If you don't stop Cornish, you're in for a long day."

acameron@calgaryherald.com

 
 
 
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