Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bombers top Riders in Banjo Bowl

The Saskatchewan Roughriders met up with a determined Winnipeg Blue Bombers squad today in the annual Banjo Bowl game in Investors Group Field in Winnipeg and it was the Bombers who came out on top, 25-13, snapping a 7 game losing streak and winning for the first time in their new stadium.

Winnipeg took the ball to open the game but had the possession end on a Weldon Brown interception. The Riders would turn it into points, reaching the goal line, before settling for a 13 yard Chris Milo field goal and a 3-0 lead, with 8:40 remaining in the opening quarter. The lead didn't last long, as Will Ford ran the ensuing kick back 98 yards for a touchdown, the teams' first kick return for a score since 2004. Sandro DeAngelis added the extra point and the Bombers were up 7-3, with 8:13 to play in the first. After an interception, Winnipeg went two and out in the shadow of their own goal line and elected to punt out of their own end zone, instead of conceding the safety touch. Saskatchewan took advantage, running the kick back to the Bomber 40, then pushing the ball to the 7, as the quarter came to an end.

Milo came on to cap the drive with a 14 yard field goal and with 10 seconds gone in the second, the Bomber lead was 1, at 7-6. After holding the Riders around centre field on their next possession, Winnipeg would cough it up on the punt return, with Saskatchewan gaining possession at the Blue Bomber 22. After two plays netted nothing, Milo came on again, this time for a 29 yard field goal, giving Saskatchewan a 9-7 lead 4:16 into the second. Late in the quarter, Tristan Jackson fumbled away a punt, with Marty Markett recovering at the Rider 25. Winnipeg, with no first downs in the game to that point, went nowhere and had to settle for a go-ahead 38 field goal from DeAngelis with 2:33 left in the half, giving the Bombers a 10-9 lead. Saskatchewan would take the ball at the 35 and drive the ball steadily down field, but the drive broke down at the Winnipeg 43, where Milo would come out to kick a 50 yard field goal, putting the Roughriders back on top 12-10, with 21 seconds left in the half, taking the lead into the half time locker room.

Aided by a 33 yard run by quarterback Justin Goltz and a pair of penalties, Winnipeg would get a go ahead major on a 3 yard roll out by Goltz, capping a 7 play, 67 yard drive. DeAngelis converted and with 4:46 gone in the third, the Bombers were back on top, 17-12. Ricky Schmitt would get a point back for Saskatchewan with a 64 yard punt single with 7:38 left in the third, slicing the deficit to 17-13.

Winnipeg extended the lead early in the fourth as Goltz capped a drive that started in the third, by going over left tackle for 3 yards and a major. DeAngelis kicked the convert 2:04 in, for a 24-13 Bomber advantage. Just past the halfway mark, DeAngelis would extend the lead with a 40 yard missed field goal single with 7:18 to play, making it 25-13 Winnipeg. The Riders got little going in the second half, but had one last gasp after Ricky Foley recovered a fumble at the Bomber 25. Saskatchewan, which suffered 6 punts and 4 turnovers in the second half, ended up losing by 12.

For the Roughriders, Darian Durant was 14-of-32 passing for 112 yards and 1 interception while being sacked 7 times, Drew Willy was 0-for-1. Durant rushed 8 times for 93 yards, Kory Sheets 14 times for 65 yards. Sheets caught 6 passes for 57 yards, Chris Milo was 4-of-4 on field goals, Ricky Schmitt punted 9 times for a 43.9 yard average and Weldon Brown had 4 tackles, 1 special teams tackle, 1 interception, 1 knock down and 1 forced fumble. For Winnipeg, Justin Goltz was 8-of-17 passing for 129 yards and 1 interception, was sacked 6 times and rushed 6 times for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aaron Kelly caught 3 passes for 78 yards, Will Ford had a 98 yard kickoff return touchdown and Sandro DeAngelis was 1-for-2 on field goals, with 3 converts and a missed field goal single. Mike Renaud punted 10 times for a 43.5 yard average. The defense was led by Demond Washington, who had 6 tackles and 2 special teams tackles. Saskatchewan had 17 first downs, rushed for 159 yards, had 288 net yards and lost 2 fumbles. The Blue Bombers had 11 first downs, rushed for 106 yards, had 235 net yards and lost 3 fumbles.

With the loss, the Roughriders fall to 8-2, while Winnipeg improves to 2-8. Next up for Saskatchewan is a Saturday, September 14th game at home against the Toronto Argonauts. Game time on 620CKRM, the Rider Radio Network,, TSN and, is 9:30pm EDT. The Bombers next play on Saturday, September 14th at the Edmonton Eskimos.

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