Greg Morris can expect some added attention this weekend. Breaking a 13-year-old Canadian Junior Football League rushing record will do that.
The Westshore Rebels running back carried the ball 24 times against the Kamloops Broncos, in Kamloops on Saturday, to an astounding 405 yards, scoring four touchdowns along the way, including a 91-yard scamper.
Morris now leads the league in rushing with a total of 1,471 yards and 17 touchdowns scored.
The Rebels move to seven wins and two losses, second place in the B.C. Football Conference standings. The win also eliminated the Broncos from their playoff hopes.
With one regular season game remaining, all that’s left to decide for the Rebels is home advantage in the upcoming playoff semifinal against the Langley Rams. This Saturday the Rebels visit the Vancouver Island Raiders, while the Rams face the Okanagan Sun.
Playing against the Raiders in the final game of Morris’ career year is fitting.
It was with the Raiders that current B.C. Lions running back Andrew Harris broke the 400-yard mark during the 2008 playoffs. And even though Saturday’s game bears no outcome on the Raiders’ plans (they’ll host the Sun in the other semifinal), Morris and the Rebels can expect a strong defensive effort from the Raiders.
Morris needs to run the ball 122 yards to break Matt Medwick’s BCFC rushing record of 1,592 yards in a season, set with the Valley Huskers in 2000. However, five yards is all Morris needs to take Harris’ spot behind Medwick on the season list, ahead of Harris’ best season in 2009.
Surprisingly, the previous single game rushing record in the BCFC, now held by Morris, was not Harris’, but was actually 338 yards, set by Eric Scott of the Richmond Raiders in 1985. Harris broke 338 in the playoffs, but not during the regular season.
Morris also added 50 yards to the previous Canadian record of 355-yards, accomplished by Craig Carter of the Windsor AKO Fratmen in 1999.
Fourteen of Morris’ 17 touchdowns this year are from the rush, which likely puts him out of reach of Harris’ 2009 BCFC league record of 20 TDs rushed, 24 TDs in total.