Argos’ Andrew Harris passes childhood hero Charles Roberts for fifth on all-time CFL rushing list

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Canadian running back Andrew Harris has surpassed his childhood hero Charles Roberts for fifth all-time in CFL rushing yards.

The 36-year-old needed just 39 yards entering Week 8 to achieve the feat, hitting the mark with an 11-yard run mid-way through the fourth quarter. It is the second year in a row that the Toronto Argonauts’ ball carrier has passed a notable milestone during the Touchdown Atlantic game, having passed fellow Blue Bombers legend Milt Stegall for fourth all-time in CFL yards from scrimmage in 2022.

Harris became the first Canadian to rush for over 10,000 career yards last season. The Winnipeg native idolized Roberts while he cut his teeth as a running back at Oak Park High School, once promising to steal his job with the hometown Bombers.

“My history with Charles Roberts, seeing him when I was 18 years old at the Palomino Night Club, being a cocky kid and telling him I’m coming to take your job,” Harris said after the game.

“To pass him now all these years later is definitely surreal.”

Roberts played eight seasons in the CFL from 2001 to 2008, becoming Winnipeg’s all-time leading rusher shortly before he was traded to the B.C. Lions in his final season. He carried 1,918 times for 10,285 yards and 69 touchdowns, earning seven straight CFL all-star selections and a spot in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

“He’s a big brother,” Harris said about Roberts. “He was an amazing player, a guy I would go down to CanadInns Stadium to watch play. (It) was an absolute honour.”

Harris began his CFL career in 2009 with the B.C. Lions, joining the team following Roberts’ retirement. He has since played 13 seasons with the Lions, Bombers, and Argonauts, winning four Grey Cup championships including the last three straight.

The five-time CFL all-star has declared this to be his final season before retirement. He now trails just Johnny Bright (10,909), Damon Allen (11,920), George Reed (16,116), and Mike Pringle (16,425) on the league’s all-time rushing leaderboard.