Sunday, September 13, 2009

Riders blast Bombers in Banjo Bowl














The Saskatchewan Roughriders, tied 7-7 after the opening quarter, reeled off 35 straight points on their way to an impressive 55-10 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers today in the annual Banjo Bowl game at Canad Inn Stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Riders hit the scoreboard on their third possession of the day, as Darian Durant hit Wes Cates with a 10-yard touchdown pass, capping off a 5 play, 51-yard drive. Luca Congi kicked the convert with 4:47 to go in the first, putting Saskatchewan up 7-0. The Bombers tied the game late in the first, as Fred Reid sprang a 35-yard run for the major score. Alexis Serna converted to tie the game 7-7.

The Riders regained the lead at 8-7, as Winnipeg conceded a single after a 55-yard punt by Jamie Boreham 2:36 into the second quarter. The lead grew to 11-7 after a Bomber turnover, as Congi booted a 40-yard field goal with 8:10 remaining in the half. Another turnover combined with a penalty on Winnipeg's next possession led to more points for Saskatchewan, as Durant ran it in from 10 yards out. The Congi convert with just over 6:00 left in the second put the Riders up 18-7. It was 19-7 less than a minute later, as Boreham booted a 76-yard kickoff single. Yet another Bomber turnover, led to Cates scoring on a 4-yard run. Congi converted with 4:00 to go in the 1st half and Saskatchewan found themselves up 26-7.

Fans in Canad Inn Stadium were reportedly already heading for the exits, as Congi opened second half scoring with a 33-yard field goal 2:33 into the third, to up the Rider lead to 29-7. It was 32-7 as Congi booted his second 40-yard field goal of the game with 9:10 left in the third. The blow-out continued not quite four minutes later, as Andy Fantuz made a spectacular catch on a 34-yard pass from Jason Armstead with 5:30 left in the third. Congi's convert increased the Winnipeg suffering to 39-7. Yet another Blue Bomber turnover, combined again with penalties gave Saskatchewan another scoring opportunity, which they gladly took advantage of, as Congi kicked an 8-yard field goal for a 42-7 lead with 1:38 still on the third quarter clock.

Serna kicked a 49-yard field goal 4 minutes into the final frame for Winnipeg's first points since the closing moments of the first quarter, cutting the deficit to 42-10. Congi kicked his fifth field goal of the game halfway through the fourth, connecting from 40-yards out, increasing the Rider lead to 45-10. Saskatchewan wasn't done yet however. After an Omar Morgan interception return gave the Riders first-and-goal at the 1, Cates walked into the endzone for his third major score of the day. Congi's convert gave Saskatchewan a 52-10 lead, with 5:49 to go in the game. After a touchdown was called back due to an offsides penalty, Congi came on to boot his sixth field goal of the day, this one from 29-yards out with 1:54 to go, putting the Riders by what would be the final score, 55-10.

Darian Durant was solid at quarterback for Saskatchewan, going 18-for-36 passing for 225 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, while also rushing for a major score. Steven Jyles was 3-for-3 passing for 39 yards, while Jason Armstead completed one pass for 34 yards and a touchdown. Wes Cates had a huge game too, rushing for two touchdowns, catching a touchdown pass, all while rushing 12 times for 83 yards. Andy Fantuz caught 2 balls for 64 yards and a touchdown and Jamie Boreham had a kickoff single. Luca Congi had an outstanding day, kicking six field goals and 5 converts for 23 points. For the Blue Bombers, the numbers weren't pretty. Michael Bishop was just 9-of-21 passing for 98 yards, with 2 interceptions. Brian Randall was 2-for-9 passing for 26 yards, while also throwing 2 interceptions. Fred Reid rushed 11 times for 72 yards and a touchdown, while Alexis Serna had a field goal and a convert. The ugliest number of all came in the turnover category. Winnipeg coughed up the ball 8 times, while the Riders gave it up just once. The Bombers also gave up two quarterback sacks. Total yards were decidedly in favor of Saskatchewan as well, 462-215. The Riders were penalized 10 times for 110 yards, Winnipeg 11 times for 127 yards.

Saskatchewan improves to 6-4 for 12 points, tied with Calgary for first in the CFL West. Winnipeg slips to 3-7 for 6 points, 10 points behind first place Montreal(who beat BC 28-24 Sunday) in the CFL East.

The Riders meet Edmonton twice next week, hosting the Eskimos next Sunday at 4:00p.m. EDT, then traveling to Edmonton on Saturday, September 26th for a 6:00p.m. EDT start. The Eskimos, 5-5 for 10 points in the West, have beaten Saskatchewan twice this season, winning in the pre-season 45-12 on June 17th and 38-33 in Regina on July 25th. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on http://www.620ckrm.com/.

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