Henry Burris can join some elite company when the Tiger-Cats visit Calgary at McMahon Stadium Friday night.
CHML’s coverage begins with the Pre-Game Show at 8pm, kickoff is at 9 o’clock ET.
But Burris says he’s more focused on beating the Stampeders than joining the 50K club.
The 38-year-old Ticats quarterback is 217 yards away from becoming only the fifth CFL QB to throw for 50,000 career passing yards.
Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen, Ron Lancaster and Danny McManus are the only other players on the list.
The longtime Stamps pivot, now in his second season with Hamilton, says reaching the 50K club means that he has managed to play for a long time and has had great teammates.
Burris has spent this week crediting former Calgary teammate Allen Pitts as well as current Ticats receivers Andy Fantuz, Greg Ellingson and Bakari Grant for his success in the CFL.
See Hamilton’s depth chart HERE.
To have success Friday night, Burris will have to punch some holes in the league’s top rated defense in 2013.
Calgary is averaging a CFL best 316.3 yards per game this season, 0.3 better than B.C.
The Stamps, who have won three straight games and are 4-and-0 at home this season, are also number one against the pass, allowing only 240 yards a game.
But Burris and Hamilton’s offensive unit has also flexed its muscles this season, especially recently.
Smilin’ Hank has thrown for at least 300 yards in four straight games while guiding the Cats offense to a league best 328 passing yards per contest.
But as good as the Ticats’ offense has been, it is Hamilton’s defense that has shown some great strides over the last month.
The Cats have allowed an average of 360 yards a game on defense, sixth in the CFL, while picking up victories in four of their last five games.
Hamilton defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer’s main worry is stopping reigning Most Outstanding Player Jon Cornish.
Cornish has rushed for 940 yards this season, second only to Saskatchewan’s Kory Sheets.
He and Sheets are also tied for top spot with eight rushing TDs.
The Ticats must also deal with the league’s top defensive end pairing of Charleston Hughes and Cordarro Law, with 10 and 8 sacks, respectively.
As a team, Hamilton has allowed a CFL worst 41 sacks this season and sit dead last with 19 QB takedowns of their own.
While Burris is approaching a mega milestone, 23-year-old sophomore pivot Bo Levi Mitchell gets the start for Calgary.
It two starts this season, the Eastern Washington product has completed 71% of his passes for 850 yards, 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
As a team, Mitchell, backup Drew Tate and third stringer Kevin Glenn have combined to throw 20 majors and 4 picks this season.
The last time the Tiger-Cats and Stampeders played each other was last October when McMahon Stadium was blanketed by a snowstorm.
Hamilton made a furious fourth quarter comeback, only to see the ball on Luca Congi’s potential game winning field goal slip off the snowy tee, as Calgary held on for a 34-32 win.
The Stamps have beaten the Ticats in 6 of their last 7 meetings, the only loss coming in the 2011 Touchdown Atlantic game in Moncton in which Hamilton blasted Calgary 55-36.
Calgary has won its last 9 games at home, are 32-9 all-time against Hamilton at McMahon, last losing to the Ticats in Cowtown in 2004.
Of note: Calgary leads the CFL with a +14 turnover ratio. Hamilton is 6th with a -8 and a league low 13 takeaways. Ticats rookie of the year favourite Greg Ellingson is 3rd in the CFL with 48 receptions, 2nd with 743 receiving yards and tied for 2nd with 6 receiving TDs. Hamilton’s Marc Beswick is tops in the CFL with 15 special teams tackles. Calgary CB Fred Bennett has 3 interceptions this season, tied for first. Stamps kicker Rene Peredes has missed just 1 field goal this season in 32 attempts (96.9% success rate). His only miss was from 22 yards.