Kory Sheets only half way to record-setting goal

Fastest player in CFL history with 1,000 yards rushing
Reported by Joel Gasson
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Kory Sheets made a little bit of history on Saturday but it's not enough for the driven Roughriders running back.

Against the Eskimos Sheets ran for 139 yards, the 7th time this season he's cracked the century mark. With those yards Sheets passed the 1,000 yard mark for the season in just eight games, the fastest running back to ever run for 1,000 yards in a season.

"This year I set my standards a lot higher," said Sheets, who says he would normally be thrilled to get to the mark. "It's just another milestone. We hit that mark now let's just move on."

All off season, and throughout the season Sheets hasn't been afraid to talk about his goal this season; it was even on his shirt as he met with reporters on Sunday. "Mission2K," as it's been dubbed, is Sheets' quest to become the 2nd CFL player to rush for 2,000 yards and beat Mike Pringle's single-season rushing record of 2,065 yards.

Sheets had a good year last year, as he finished second in the rushing race to Jon Cornish with 1,277 yards. So what has Sheets convinced that he could add 1,000 yards to his previous total?

"Seeing what I did, after watching film from all of last season, I left a whole lot of yards out there," said Sheets. "It totalled up to pretty much 2,000 yards."

Sheets admitted when he joined the Green and White last season he was more or less going with the flow since he was the new guy. That certainly hasn't been the case this year as Sheets came into camp in much better shape and he continues to work hard every single day in practice, often wearing a weighted vest to force him to carry a little more weight (like a baseball player taking practice swings with a second bat or a weighted ring around it).

But Sheets is quick to insist wouldn't be where he is today without his offensive line. They've been dominant week in and week out, helping open up holes for him. They've been enjoying watching Sheets up close and personal too.

"Average per carry has been really high," said offensive lineman Chris Best. "It's been really great, I'm proud of him."

"It's record-setting, so it's awesome," said offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte. "He's done a real good job running the ball. We've been fortunate to be in some situations where we can get him the ball."

How much Sheets has been able to get the ball so far this season may be the key to his success, especially late in games. For the most part, Sheets hasn't set the world on fire in the first half of football games but he and the offensive line have been able to wear down opponents all game long, leading to giant second halves.

"He's able to find that extra gear in the second half," said LaBatte. "Hopefully we can keep him on that pace."

As much as Sheets wants to get to the 2,000 yard mark, he's pretty sure the offensive line wants it worse than he does.

"Just to say they've blocked for a guy with 2,000 yards and nobody else has done that for a while," said Sheets.

Given the nature of most offensive linemen, many of them aren't really coming out and agreeing with Sheets but in their own way you can tell they want it.

"We want to help him be the best player he can be," said LaBatte.

All season long Sheets has been rewarding his offensive line with free food from Regina food truck Bon Burgers for 100 yard games, but this week there won't be anything out of the ordinary for reaching 1,000 yards on the season.

"Just going to get Bon Burgers the first day of practice, then we're going to move forward," said Sheets.

To put Sheets' season into perspective he only needs 219 more yards to pass his total from last year. He remains on-pace to not only beat Pringle's record but to shatter it by more than 300 yards. Only once this year Sheets has failed to record at least 130 yards rushing in a game.

Sheets also has a 309 yard lead in the rushing race over Cornish.