Road Warriors Strike In Edmonton
EDMONTON, AB. — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers mighty road machine struck again in Edmonton on Saturday night.
Not only did the Bombers send the Edmonton Eskimos down to their sixth straight defeat, but Winnipeg pretty much locked up a playoff berth in the process. Unless the B.C. Lions get red-hot and the Bombers completely collapse down the stretch, the Bombers can be no worse than a crossover team.
On Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium, Darvin Adams made a remarkable one-handed touchdown catch, Chris Randle returned an interception for a touchdown and Matt Nichols had another strong game as the Bombers beat Edmonton 28-19 to improve to 10-3-0 on the season and 5-2-0 on the road.
Nichols completed 24-of-32 pass attempts for 238 yards and two touchdowns while the Bombers defense played one of its finest games of the season. Although the Eskimos finished with 436 total yards, the Bombers defense bent, but it didn’t break, holding the home side to fewer than 20 points.
Winnipeg managed 333 total yards but two big plays ended up being the difference in the game.
It took a while for these two teams to get going. The game was scoreless after the first quarter and then the Bombers finally got on the board with a Justin Medlock single. Then, with 13 seconds left in the second quarter Nichols hit Clarence Denmark on a six-yard TD pass to make it 8-0 at the half.
Edmonton got as close as 8-6 in the third quarter when Esks quarterback Mike Reilly drove his team 67 yards on eight plays to start the second half. But the Bombers answered as Andrew Harris plunged two yards for a touchdown and Winnipeg led 15-6.
After an Edmonton field goal, Adams made his spectacular touchdown catch and Winnipeg led 21-9. The Eskimos then kicked a field goal and added another touchdown to make it 21-19, but Randle’s pick-six put the game away.
“That was probably one of the biggest plays I’ve had this year. A pick-six, it’s a pretty big play man,” said Randle. “In a situation where I felt like they had to pass the ball. I told T.J. (Heath) to anticipate and take in-breaking routes so I could be more aggressive on out-breaking routes and deeper routes. I was able to play hard and aggressive on outside routes and he delivered the out route and I was able to make a play.”
Harris carried eight times for 54 yards and a touchdown and caught nine passes for 81 more as he was, once again, Winnipeg’s most potent offensive weapon. Adams caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Denmark caught three for 25 yards and a TD.
The Bombers, the second-place team in the West, plays again this coming Friday night at Investors Group Field against the struggling 3-10-0 Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Game time is 7:30 p.m. and it’s on TSN.
—Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo – Jeff Miller, MyToba Sports