RIDERS UNABLE TO PLUCK VICTORY FROM BOMBERS Sep. 12/04 | Saskatchewan Roughriders
 
 

 

Roughriders 24 Winnipeg 27

 

By KEVIN CLIVE

Riderville.com Editor

 

WINNIPEG - Another game versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers added up to another disappointment for the Saskatchewan Roughriders today as the Green and White couldn’t overcome a boisterous crowd of over 27,000 or contain a bouncing back in Charles Roberts, who rushed for 159 yards, with one touchdown on the ground and one in the air.

 

The combination proved too much for the Riders, who were narrowly defeated 27-24 in the third and final game of the CFL season series between these two heated rivals. The loss puts the Roughriders in fourth place with a 4-8 record and helps the Bombers increase to 5-7 and give them a firm grip on third in the Western Division.

 

Since 1994, the Riders have not won a regular season game at Canad Inns Stadium and although they were poised to break that trend this week, a fired up home squad held off the Rider offence to win the inaugural Banjo Bowl - enabling this city’s United Way to receive a cheque for $10,000 from the National Post.

"It’s frustrating because we are so close and we gave it a full 60 minute effort out there," said Rider starting running back Corey Holmes, who was inserted at tailback this week with Kenton Keith out with a knee injury. Holmes handled the load admirably too, rushing for 107 yards on 17 carries including a 22-yard scamper along the way.

 

But it was Roberts’ ability to make tacklers miss as the man known as ‘Blink’ provided a spark to the Bomber offence whenever called upon.

 

"We knew coming in that we had to stop or at least contain Roberts for us to have a chance and allow our offence to see the field," said defensive lineman Scott Schultz, who had a quarterback sack and three tackles on the day. "I don’t know what else to say though because we played our hearts out today, but we came up short again."

 

The Riders started the game off slow as Winnipeg scored on its opening possession when kicker Troy Westwood nailed a 33-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Bombers. Roughrider kicker Paul McCallum replied with a 50-yard punt single to make it 3-1 midway through the first quarter.

 

The Rider offence, led by quarterback Henry Burris, then began to move the ball and eventually succeeded for six when Burris found Travis Moore from four yards out to make it 8-3 Saskatchewan.

 

But a Kevin Glenn pass to Derrick Smith that took the ball down to the Rider two yard line after a face-masking penalty led to another major from the Bombers, this time on a lucky bounce that saw Roberts fumble on the goalline only to have Milt Stegall recover it in the endzone. The score was 10-8 Winnipeg after one quarter.

 

In the second quarter, McCallum missed a 46-yard field goal which amounted to a single conceded point to make it 10-9 Winnipeg before Glenn found Roberts on a 10-yard touchdown pass to increase the home team’s lead to 17-9. The Riders attempted to answer, but were only able to add two McCallum field goals before the half ran out, making it 17-15 as the two clubs headed to the locker room.

 

In the third stanza, the Riders came out looking to retake the lead, but instead, were met with a face-full of Roberts again, who this time scampered 20 yards to paydirt to make it 24-15 Blue Bombers with to go in the third.

 

The Riders would have to settle for another three-pointer as Burris and his receiving corps couldn’t hook up enough times to sustain the drive and relinquished the ball to McCallum who made a 17-yarder to make it 24-18 Winnipeg.

 

Westwood then missed a field goal of his own but the Riders gave up the single to make it 25-18 before McCallum hit a 47-yarder to draw the Roughies to within four points at frames.

 

In the fourth quarter, Burris drove the ball to within scoring range for the Green and White but never could connect when it counted, leaving McCallum to make another field goal from 31-yards out to put the Riders down by one at 25-24 with three minutes remaining.

 

But Blue Bomber punter Jon Ryan did his job the following two offensive series for Winnipeg when he hit two boomers, one of 67 and the other of 63 yards for punt singles to up the Blue and Gold’s lead to 27-24 and force Burris and the offence to drive the field for a chance to win.

 

However, the crowd noise and the Blue Bombers’ defensive pressure led to Burris throwing the ball up one last time with zero ticks on the clock - only to see if be picked off by Joe Morgan to end the game and make the final 27-24 Winnipeg.

 

The loss marks the Roughriders’ third in a row and now pretty much forces the Green and White to run the table over the next six games if they plan to finish third in the Western Division or at least higher than the fourth place team in the East.

 

The Riders next game is Sunday in Hamilton when they take on the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

 

INJURY NOTES: Receiver Corey Grant has re-aggravated his hamstring and is listed as day-to-day. Defensive lineman Nate Davis had a cleat hit the side of his face between his eye and ear when his helmet popped off during a play. Davis will likely be okay for the game in Hamilton.

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Sat 5:00 pm CST August 2, 2014
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