September 1, 2020

Top 10 Exclusive : Longest Carries

Frank Rigney and Leo Lewis Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1965 Grey Cup. Copyright photograph Ted Grant

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 list.

Top 10 Longest Carries 

It could be said no Canadian Football League team has had the collection of hall of famers grace their backfield like the Blue Bombers.

From Leo Lewis to Charles Roberts, Tom Casey to Gerry James, Dave Raimey to Art Stevenson, Eddie James to Fritz Hanson right to the man currently holding down a spot in the backfield and a future hall of famer in Andrew Harris.

Interestingly, the player with the longest run in franchise history is actually none of the above. Instead, that honour is held by a man who primarily served as the No. 2 man to Jim Washington in the mid 1970s.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Richard Crump, who ran for 103 yards on one play 42 years ago this week in the 1978 Labour Day Classic. With that in mind, here’s a long at the 10 longest carries in Bombers franchise history…

1. Richard Crump, 103 yards – September 4, 1978 at Saskatchewan

Crump came to the Bombers in 1975 after playing junior college at Northeast Oklahoma. He found a spot behind Jim Washington and was an excellent ball carrier and receiver, finishing with over 1,000 yards in combined rushing and receiving yards in 1977 and 1978.

Crump ran for 103 yards on one carry for the final Bombers TD in their thrilling 31-29 victory over Saskatchewan in the Labour Day Classic. A year later he was off to Ottawa, then Calgary and back to Ottawa for the 1980 and 1981 seasons.

2. Tom Casey, 100 yards – September 20, 1952 at Saskatchewan

They called him ‘Citation’ and Casey was a gifted running back, defensive back and a punter. He was a Western Inter-Provincial Union all-star in each season from 1950-55. In this game, Casey burst for a 100-yard run in an 18-7 win over the Riders.

Casey was the first Black player inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1964, and among the first inductees to the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame when it was established in 1984.

3. (tie) Dave Raimey, 100 yards – September 11, 1966 vs. Saskatchewan

Raimey began his CFL career with the Bombers in 1965 and would lead the club in rushing in each of the next four seasons.

In his rookie campaign he had 1,052 yards rushing and a spectacular 8.1-yards per carry average. A year later he posted a career-best 1,223 yards rushing, which included this 100-yard run in a 27-24 loss to Saskatchewan.

4. Tom Casey, 99 yards – October 20, 1951 vs. Saskatchewan

Casey led the Bombers in rushing in both 1950 and 1951 and in this game, played at old Osborne Stadium, he cranked out a 99 yarder in what was a 19-13 victory for the Bombers. Of note: the four longest rushes in Bombers history have all come in games against Saskatchewan.

5. George Jones, 98 yards – July 5, 2000 at Montreal

Jones came to the Bombers in 2000 with some gaudy credentials. He had smashed Marshall Faulk’s records at San Diego State and, after being a fifth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997, spent the next few seasons backing up Jerome Bettis. His Bomber debut was spectacular, as he rushed for a 98-yard touchdown in a season-opening loss in Montreal. Jones finished that day with 153 yards on 12 carries, but by season’s end had lost the starting job to Cory Philpot and the ’00 campaign was his only one in Bombers colours.

6. Tommy Ford, 95 yards — September 20, 1952 at Saskatchewan

Strange but true – two of the longest runs in Bombers history came in the same game as Ford’s 98-yard effort came in the same game as Tom Casey’s 100-yarder listed above. Ford had played with the Toronto Argonauts before arriving in Winnipeg.

7. Dave Raimey, 94 yards – September 9, 1967 at Montreal

The Bombers struggled in 1967, finishing with a 4-12 mark. But Raimey was still one of the team’s bright stars. He rushed for 772 yards in 15 games that year –also pulling in another 39 passes – but the Bombers fell 27-26 in Montreal in this game, in which the club missed three converts.

8. Leo Lewis, 92 yards – September 6, 1963 at Toronto

He was the ‘Lincoln Locomotive’ and any long-standing Bomber fan will allude to the fact that the legendary Bud Grant called him the best player he ever coached – during his days in the CFL with Winnipeg and his many years as the boss of the Minnesota Vikings. Lewis scored twice in this game and the 92-yard scamper in the fourth quarter was the game-winning run in a 25-20 victory.

9. Leo Lewis, 87 yards – October 6, 1964 at Edmonton

The Bombers really struggled in 1964, going just 1-14-1, but Lewis was his usual electric self in leading the Bombers in rushing for the fifth time in his career. He rushed for 178 yards in this game, including the 87-yard sprint for a TD, in what was a 25-22 loss to Edmonton.

10. Leo Lewis, 85 yards – October 1, 1960 vs. Calgary

Lewis spent 12 seasons in Winnipeg, from 1955-66, and appeared in six Grey Cups – winning four. He had 179 yards on 16 carries in this game, a 31-21 win, and also returned three kickoffs for 135 yards. Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame in 1984, Lewis was surpassed by Charles Roberts as the club’s all-time leading rusher and remains the all-time leader in combined yardage.