Blue Bombers Win 43-40 in OT in Regina
REGINA, SK – In a thrilling way to open Mosaic Stadium in Regina, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders played a classic Canadian Football League game on Saturday night.
And, of course, after the Bombers played two pre-season ties, it was kind of fitting that their first game of the 2017 season went to overtime.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders jumped out to a quick 17-3 lead over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday night, Matt Nichols and Weston Dressler had other ideas.
In the end, Justin Medlock kicked a ??-yard field in the second overtime to beat the Roughriders 43-40 in a wonderful CFL game.
On a beautiful Canada Day evening at Regina’s gorgeous new Mosaic Stadium, the Blue Bombers fell behind, scored 24 consecutive points, got back-to-back third-quarter touchdowns from Dressler and then won it on a field goal in overtime to win their 2017 season opener.
In a sensational Canadian Football League game in front of more than 33,000 fans in Regina, the Bombers got off to a slow start against Kevin Glenn and the Roughriders, but Nichols settled the ship and Winnipeg dominated the second half.
After Saskatchewan got ahead 17-3 early in the second quarter, the Bombers scored 10 quick points before the half and cut the Riders lead to 17-13.
Then, in the third quarter, Nichols found Dressler on an incredible 87-yard pass-and-run play for a touchdown and then after Saskatchewan fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Nichols hit Dressler on a nine-yard TD pass to make the score 27-17 in Winnipeg’s favor.
In the end, Winnipeg outscored Saskatchewan 21-6 in the third quarter and had a 34-23 lead with 15 minutes left to play.
In the fourth quarter, Saskatchewan made a game of it when Glenn hit University of Manitoba and Oak Park High School graduate Nic Demski on a 35-yard touchdown pass right down the middle of the field. That made the score 37-30 and the Roughriders were back in the game.
Saskatchewan scored again when Glenn hit Naaman Roosevelt on a 16-yard pass-and-run play for a touchdown and Saskatchewan had battled back to tie the game at 37-37. Saskatchewan had outscored Winnipeg 14-3 in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.
However, in overtime, Tyler Crapigna missed a 35-yard field and the Bombers were in perfect position to win it. Medlock then came out an booted a 27-yard field goal to win it.
Nichols finished 23-for-36 for 331 yards with four touchdowns and only one interception to lead the Bombers to victory. Dressler, the former Rider, caught six passes for 124 yards and two big second-half TDs. Meanwhile, Andrew Harris carried 12 times for 51 yards and caught six passes for 38 more. Darvin Adams and L’Damian Washington also caught TD passes from Nichols.
Glenn, a former Blue Bomber, completed 36 of 49 pass attempts for 377 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. In all, the Riders had four big turnovers. Demski was Glenn’s favorite target, catching seven passes for 82 yards and a TD. Roosevelt, Bakari Grant and Caleb Holley also caught touchdown passes from Glenn.
The 1-0 Blue Bombers will return home to face the Calgary Stampeders next Friday night at Investors Group Field. Game time is 7:30.
If this coming Friday’s game is half as good as Saturday’s Bomber win in Regina, it will be worth the price of admission.
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo by Jeff Miller