Roughriders’ running back Jerome Messam was finally able to reach level 100 on Sunday afternoon.
In a year where Messam is widely believed to be the Riders nominee for most outstanding player and most outstanding Canadian, Sunday’s game against the Alouettes was actually the first time Messam was able to rush for more than 100 yards in a game this season.
“Hats off to the offensive line, they did a good job,” Messam said.
“(Offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine) stuck with the run, regardless of what Montreal did, we stuck with it. It just feels good to have a productive day and get a W,” said Messam.
Chapdelaine stuck with the run game because of something they saw watching Alouettes game film throughout the week.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn wouldn’t say what they saw, but clearly it worked.
“We had something on them as far as running the ball. Every time we ran this particular play, we were very successful doing it,” he said.
Messam’s 111 yards also propelled him into the league’s rushing lead, passing B.C. Lions tailback Andrew Harris. Messam will hold a 57-yard lead over Harris heading into their match up this Saturday afternoon at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
“I didn’t know (that), but it feels good. I’m definitely going to do what I can to stay productive and hold onto it from here on out,” said Messam.
Currently, Messam is just barely on pace to set a new career high for rushing yards in a single season with 1,074 yards. That’s despite more than one occasion where Messam was seemingly forgotten about in the backfield by Chapdelaine leading to a number of games with fewer than 50 yards rushing.
Messam’s best season so far was 2011 when he rushed for 1,057 yards as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos. This season is already Messam’s second-best season even if he didn’t rush for another yard all season.
Even though Messam had his best running game on Sunday, he wasn’t completely happy. Messam fumbled away the ball for the first time this year.
“I tried to get out of the season without a fumble this year. I’m very pissed off at myself,” he said.
“Even the call, I think my knee was down but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. It’s football, it happens.”
The Riders will have a short week before their game with the Lions with practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at Mosaic Stadium.