Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bombers pluck Riders in Banjo Bowl 31-2

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers dominated the Saskatchewan Roughriders from start to finish Sunday afternoon, winning the annual Banjo Bowl contest 31-2 at Canad Inn Stadium in Winnipeg.

James Patrick intercepted a Jyles pass in the end zone, but an illegal contact call on Lance Frazier gave the ball back to the Bombers at the 8, where Fred Reid capped a 7 play, 66 yard drive by running it into the end zone untouched, giving Winnipeg their first score on an opening drive this season. The convert from Justin Palardy was good with just over 8 minutes to go in the first, giving the Blue Bombers a 7-0 lead.

A delay penalty moved the ensuing kickoff moved the ball back 10 yards, then Rider return man Dominic Dorsey lost the ball in the sun, and Winnipeg recovered at the Saskatchewan 31. However, the Bombers misfired on 2 plays, setting for a 38 yard field goal from Palardy putting Winnipeg on top, 10-0, just past the midway mark of the opening quarter.

Reid added to the lead with a 61 yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and with Palardy’s convert, the Bombers were up 17-0 2 ½ minutes into the second quarter. Saskatchewan finally got on the board 6 minutes into the second quarter, thanks to a 50 yard punt single by Eddie Johnson, to trail 17-1.

Winnipeg put together one more scoring drive to end a dominant first half. Aided by another illegal contact penalty on Frazier that once again negated a Patrick end zone interception for the Riders, Alex Brink barreled in behind left tackle from 2 yards away for an apparent touchdown, a play that was eventually overturned by review with 15 seconds to play until two quarter time. On the next play, just inches away from the goal line, Brink barged his way into the end zone for his first CFL touchdown. Palardy’s convert with 6 seconds left, gave the Blue Bombers a 24-1 halftime lead.

Luca Congi got a single point 4:53 into the third quarter, after missing a 32 yard field goal for Saskatchewan, making it a 24-2 game. Winnipeg then put the game away just inside the 3 minute mark of the final quarter, as Jyles found Chris Davis on a crossing pattern for a 40 yard touchdown and, following another Palardy convert, the eventual 31-2 win, in front of a sell-out crowd of 29,833.

The Bombers’ Steven Jyles was solid against his old team, going 19-23 passing for 169 yards and 1 touchdown. Chris Davis had a 40 yard touchdown reception, Fred Reid, who missed two days of practice with the flu earlier in the week, rushed 17 times for 148 yards and 2 touchdown and short-yardage quarterback Alex Brink carried the ball 8 times for 12 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Justin Paladry kicked a field goal and 4 converts. The Riders’ Darian Durant was 19-of-35 passing for 168 yards and an interception, and backup Ryan Dinwiddie was 0-for-2. Wes Cates caught 3 passes for 13 yards and ran the ball 8 times for 18 yards. Punter Eddie Johnson and kicker Luca Congi each had a single.

With the win, Winnipeg improves to 3-7, while Saskatchewan slips to 6-4, the same record they had a year ago, before rallying to play in the Grey Cup.

The Riders host West leading Calgary this Friday, with kickoff set for 9:00pm EDT. Winnipeg travels to Toronto for a 1:00pm Sunday contest.

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