Hes 58 yards away from the magical 1,000 for the season, but Greg Morris has bigger fish to fry come this afternoon.
Today is all about team and trying to remain in a top-two placing to make home-field advantage in the B.C. Football Conference playoffs a reality.
Morris and his 6-1 Westshore Rebels teammates will face a stiff test when the 5-1-1 Langley Rams pay a visit to Westhills Stadium (formerly Bear Mountain Stadium), with kickoff set for 4 p.m.
The Rebels are hoping to win their seventh straight game to keep the Rams behind them in the standings and stay within striking range of the Vancouver Island Raiders, the only team to beat Westshore so far this season.
Were on a nice little run and hoping to keep this going on a fast pace, said Morris, who leads the league in touchdowns with 12 but even more impressively leads the BCFC with 942 yards rushing on 98 carries for a 9.6-yard average. That total is 349 yards more than Langleys Daniel Xavier.
But this is more than just about Morris and reaching 1,000 yards for the second straight year.
This is where we wanted to be six weeks ago, and here we are, Rebels head coach John Cardilicchia said. You cant ask for more than this, to play this team at home at this point of the season with the records being the way they are. Its a moment of truth.
Strong words from a man who is often emotionally filled with them.
I love where were at right now, minus the injuries, Cardilicchia said. Its a real good character group, guys who really want this thing.
But we want a lot more than this. Were looking for a first-place battle with Nanaimo at the end of the season, and in order to get to that, we have to take care of business here. This has huge implications for that. This is our biggest test of the year and one of our biggest tests the last three years.
To manage a win, the Rebels will have to focus on a few key areas.
We have to shut their run game down, run the football, control the clock and keep the ball away from [ace kick-returner] Nick Downey and big plays, Cardilicchia said. We have to play 60 minutes of good, fundamental football and dont hurt ourselves and take advantage of things weve seen that we think we can expose them on.
One of them is obviously the success that Morris can achieve.
Only twice this season has he been kept below the 100-yard mark (against he Raiders and Okanagan Sun). The Raiders are also the only team that have kept him out of the end zone.
Hes a heck of a back never goes down easy, Cardilicchia said. He gets a lot of extra, scrappy yards after contact, and when the hole is there for him, he hits it at Mach speed. You have to take him down; he isnt taking himself down.
The Ontario native has his eyes set on that 1,000-yard plateau, but more so on a win.
Its a big game, Morris said. Im almost there [at 1,000], but Im just waiting for my offensive line to do the work and run in those gaps. I cant get it done without them.
Im just hoping we execute and move them the way we want to get them moving.
Not to mention keeping moving up the standings.
REBEL YELL: The Rebels have set a $2 student ticket price with all those proceeds going to Angels for Hannah and her battle with cancer (angelsforhannah.com).
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