July 29, 2020

Top 10 Exclusive : Rushing performances

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce (left) hands the ball off to running back Fred Reid during first quarter CFL football action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 in Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

The Winnipeg Football Club has 90 years of history to celebrate, dating way back to the days of leather helmets and the Great Depression.

Over that time there have been countless great plays authored by superstar players… and average Joes, too. There have been memorable games featuring iconic moments and, dating back to 1930, this franchise has captured a Grey Cup championship 11 times.

Each week cracks open the record book, dusts off the archives and dives deep into our collective memory banks for our Top 10 Exclusive.

This week: Top 10 Rushing performances

The Blue Bombers franchise has had some superb running backs in its history, including Canadian Football Hall of Famers and Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Famers. Interestingly, the two best single-game rushing performances by Bombers are held by two men not currently in either shrine.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 single-game rushing performances in Bombers history…

  1. Fred Reid – 260 – August 21, 2009 at B.C. Lions: Reid averaged exactly 10 yards per carry on this night in Vancouver, and his total ranks third on the CFL’s all-time list behind Ottawa’s Ron Stewart, who had 287 in a game in 1960 and a 268-yard effort by Saskatchewan legend George Reed in 1965. Incredibly, Yvenson Bernard also had 112 yards rushing against the Lions that night as the Bombers cranked out a team record 388 rushing yards.
  2. Blaise Bryant – 249 – September 17, 1994 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats: During the 1994 season the Bombers not only saw Matt Dunigan set a CFL record with 713 yards passing, but Bryant establish a new club rushing mark at Ivor Wynne Stadium – a record that stood for 15 years before Reid’s effort.
  3. Willard Reaves – 221 – September 7, 1984 vs. Ottawa Rough Riders: Reaves galloped for 1,733 yards in 1984, establishing a new club record (later broken by Robert Mimbs in 1991 with 1,769) en route to the first of his back-to-back CFL rushing titles and the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award.
  4. Ronald Williams – 212 – October 24, 1997 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders: The Bombers didn’t see a lot of highlights in ’97, a year in which the club finished 4-14. But on the final game of the season Williams went off, rumbling for 212 yards on just 20 carries.
  5. Willard Reaves – 200 – August 8, 1985 vs. Ottawa Rough Riders: Reaves rushed for 200 yards in a single game twice in his career, both against Ottawa, and while working behind a mammoth offensive line he nicknamed ‘The White Horses.’
  6. Tim Jessie – 199 – July 25, 1989 vs. Ottawa Rough Riders: Jessie led the Bombers in rushing in ’89 with 808 yards but was particularly dominant on this day against Ottawa. Jessie tied a club record with four rushing touchdowns, currently shared by Bob McNamara, Charles Roberts and Reaves.
  7. Michael Richardson – 197 – August 27, 1992 vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Richardson replaced Robert Mimbs in the backfield in 1992 and made an immediate splash in being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie.
  8. Charles Roberts – 195 – July 22, 2005 vs. Montreal Alouettes: The Bombers won a thriller over the Montreal Alouettes that night in a 51-46 victory. Roberts rushed for 1,624 yards that year to win the rushing title, one of three over a span from 2003-06.
  9. James Sykes – 191 – September 5, 1986 at Saskatchewan Roughriders: Willard Reaves was limited to six games in ’86 due to injury and the Bombers called on Sykes, the long-time Calgary RB, to fill in during his absence. Sykes cranked out 191 yards in 38-14 win over the Riders in the labour Day Classic.
  10. Williard Reaves – 187 – July 24, 1986 vs. Calgary Stampeders: Reaves rushed for 187 and a TD in a 25-20 home win over the Stamps.