Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting pivot Chris Streveler has run to glory this week, setting a new team record for yards rushing in a season for a quarterback.
Streveler now has 112 carries on the season in 14 games, totaling 641 yards (5.7 yards per carry) with 12 touchdowns.
That means he has overtaken former Oklahoma Sooner Buddy Leake who has held the record since the 1956 season.
That year Leake had 156 carries totaling 633 yards (4.1 yards per carry) with 6 touchdowns.
This was 2 years before the CFL was officially formed. As in 1958 the Canadian Football Council broke away from the Canadian Rugby Union in and renamed itself the Canadian Football League.
Leake will have received the same reward for his touchdowns as Streveler as 1956 was the first season they were worth 6 points.
Buddy Leake – Sooner to Blue Bomber
John E Leake Jr, (Buddy), was a high-school football star named an All-Memphis, All-State and All-South player.
He went on to play for the the University of Oklahoma where he played running back, defensive back and kicker for the Sooners from 1951-54.
During that time he won a Big Seven All-Star nod at halfback. Leake was also a star baseball player at college and is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Undrafted by the NFL, Leake joined Winnipeg in 1955, spending three seasons (1955-57) with them.
Leake was the starting QB for the Bombers in 1955, moving to play more halfback in 1956 and 1957 as well as playing defensive back and doing the kicking.
In 1956, mostly playing Half-Back but listed as a Quarterback Leake had an outstanding season. Scoring 103 points and taking home the Dave Dryburgh memorial trophy as top scorer in the West.
Chris Streveler – Coyote to Blue Bomber
Christopher L Streveler played for the University of South Dakota Coyotes, having started out at the University of Minnesota.
His two seasons with South Dakota were impressive. Over that span he threw for 6,081 yards and 54 touchdowns.
In 2017, Streveler was named MVFC Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Much like Leake, Streveler was undrafted by the NFL. Instead in May 2018 he signed with Winnipeg.
Because of an injury to Matt Nichols Streveler opened the season. That made Streveler the first quarterback to start a CFL game coming out of college since 1994.
He is in good company there as the last one to do it before him is Hall of Fame QB Anthony Calvillo who debuted for the Las Vegas Posse in 1994.
Winnipeg again lost Nichols as part of a league-wide spate of injuries to starters. It is because of that injury that Streveler has had a run of games as a starter that has seen him compile the rushing yards and break the team record.
To put all of this into a wider perspective, Streveler has broken a long-standing team record. The most rushing yards in a CFL season is 1,086 set by Tracy Ham in 1990.
Streveler has 12 touchdowns this year, with 2 games left to play. He is probably unlikely to equal the team single season record for rushing touchdowns. That stands at 18 set by Gerry James in 1957.
He also currently has a career high of 98 rushing yards in a game. Some distance behind Ken Ploen who ran for 158 yards against BC in 1958.
You could argue that Leake did not hold the CFL QB single-season rushing record for the team. As 1956 was just prior to the official league launch.
If you took that approach, then Streveler has definitely outpaced Ploen who ran for 541 yards in 1960.
There will certainly be more yards added in the run-heavy Winnipeg attack this year. As ever, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out on the field.
Banner Image; New record setter Chris Streveler. Image from cfl.ca