The consensus around the league is that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a better team than their record of 3-7 would indicate. Sunday afternoon against the Saskatchewan Roughriders they came out with a blazing intensity that would stake them to a 17-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter. The house was full as the Bombers would finish off the game by dominating the Riders to the final tune of a 31-2 win.
The 1st quarter saw a quick drive by the Bombers on their first possession capped off with an 8 yard TD run by Fred Reid. It was the first time this year that the Bombers have scored a TD on their first possession. On the ensuing kickoff, Rider returner Dominique Dorsey lost the ball in the sun and Winnipeg DB Brandon Stewart ended up with the ball. The Bombers followed up with a 38 yard field goal. The first quarter ended with the Bombers stopping the Riders Offense on 3rd and a yard and a half from the Bomber 26 yard line drive.
Two drives later the Bomber Offense scored 7 more points when Fred Reid galloped 61 yards for his 2nd TD of the game. Late in the 2nd quarter DB Lavar Glover picked off Rider QB Darian Durant. The Bombers took the following drive down the field and backup Qb Alex Brink dove into the endzone from the 1 yard line. On that drive the Riders had their 2nd endzone picked taken away for the second time by contact on the Bomber receivers.
The Bombers would lead 24-1 at the half. Reid had 111 yards rushing in the first half. The Bomber offense outgained Saskatchewan at 2-1 ratio. The Big Blue turned the ball over twice and recovered their own kickoff while not giving up a turnover. The Bombers would turn those turnovers/mistakes into 10 points. The Bombers had the only 2 sacks of the half. Saskatchewan converted a number of long 2nd down plays in the first half for what would be the only positive they could carry to the locker room.
Midway through the 3rd quarter the Bombers had a fumble recovery for a TD taken away on a questionable horse collar tackle. DE Phillip Hunt grabbed the front of Durant’s jersey and appeared to pull the Rider QB backwards. In the meantime Durant had completed the pass to FB Chris Szarka who was separted from the ball on a hellacious hit by the Bomber rookie linebacker Marcellus Bowman. The Riders scored a single off a missed 32 yard field goal try at the end of the drive. In fairness to the Riders they also had a turnover called back on an iffy penalty earlier in the 1st half.
WR Chris Davis scored a 40 yard TD on a catch and run play early in the 4th quarter. The quarter played out as both teams’ defenses kept the other teams’ offenses from moving the ball with any regularity.
Reid finished with 148 yards. It was the first time any running back had gained 100 yards against the Saskatchewan defense this season. The Bombers D played the run tight. The Riders only gained 31yards on the ground. On the other side of the ball, the return of the Bombers regular offensive line made all the difference in giving Jyles protection and Reid lanes to run through untouched. The Bombers had 206 yards rushing by the end of the game. Jyles managed the game well in winds that were gusting up to 45km per hour. Jyles finished going 19 of 23 for 169 yards. Davis was the Bombers best receiver with 88 yards on 6 receptions.
For Saskatchewan, Dominique Dorsey had a lot of trouble with catching the ball on punts and kickoffs as both the bright sun and the gusting west wind played havoc with tracking the ball in the air. Punter Eddie Johnson was the Riders’ best player as he pinned the Bombers inside the 20 numerous times with his punts.
The next game for the Bombers is next Sunday in Toronto when they match up against the Argos.
About the Author
Written by Jim Penner
I've been a life long Manitoban and a fan of the Bombers just as long!