Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat off Saskatchewan Roughriders to advance to Gray Cup – .

Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat off Saskatchewan Roughriders to advance to Gray Cup – .

WINNIPEG – Andrew Harris ran for 136 yards and a touchdown as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers overcame six turnovers in a 21-17 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Sunday’s West Division final.
The result saw a Gray Cup rematch next weekend in Hamilton. The defending Gray Cup champions Blue Bombers will face the Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field after Hamilton defeated Toronto 27-19 in the Eastern Final.

Harris, who was playing his first game since Oct. 15 with a knee injury, had 23 carries and a three-yard TD in front of 31,160 fans at IG Field, who braved intermittent snow, gusts of wind and wind chill. it gave the impression of having minus -20 C.

Winnipeg ended a 28-season CFL drought by defeating Hamilton 33-12 in the 2019 championship game. The 2020 Gray Cup did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bombers have finished first in the West Division this season and earned a pass to the final after going 11-3 in a campaign cut to 14 games. Saskatchewan went 9-5 to beat the Calgary Stampeders 33-30 in overtime in the semifinals.

Winnipeg also sneaked touchdowns on Sunday from wide receiver Rasheed Bailey and alternate quarterback Sean McGuire. Kicker Sergio Castillo made all three converts.

William Powell hit a one-yard touchdown for Saskatchewan and Duke Williams hit a pass for a 67-yard touchdown. Brett Lauther was good on two converts, put in a 16-yard field goal and missed a 36-yard attempt.

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros, the West Division’s candidate for MVP, completed 17 of 21 passing attempts for 229 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Cody Fajardo had 19 of 27 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown for the visitors.

The score was tied 7-7 after the first quarter, Saskatchewan led 10-7 at halftime and the Riders held a 17-14 lead after the third.

Five of Winnipeg’s six first-half practices resulted in turnovers, including three interceptions and two fumbles. A sixth was added in the third quarter.

In the game’s first possession, Collaro threw a wide-open Nic Demski to the back of the end zone, but the ball bounced off his hands and into the hands of Riders defensive back Ed Gainey. Turnover did not lead to any point.

In Winnipeg’s next practice, Collaros completed a pass to Drew Wolitarsky near the Saskatchewan goal line, but Riders defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy knocked the ball out of his hands and teammate Elie Bouka picked it up. and ran for 94 yards.

This time the turnover led to a TD from a yard from Powell at 7:00 am.

The Bombers responded with a 71-yard drive in six games, topped with a Bailey touchdown catch at 11:21.

The second quarter opened with Riders defensive back Nick Marshall intercepting Collaros, a turnover that led to an eight-play, 65-yard drive and 16-yard field goal from Lauther at 5:02.

With five minutes remaining in the second quarter, Collaros took some pressure and threw the ball into Riders linebacker Nigel Harris at the Saskatchewan 29-yard line. The visitors were unable to increase their lead.

Saskatchewan would force a fifth turnaround after Collaros connected with Bailey, who hit the ball to the Riders’ 31-yard line by Bouka. Linebacker Deon Lacey recovered the fumble, but once again, Saskatchewan couldn’t capitalize on the giveaway.

The Riders opened the second half with their first gross, but Winnipeg quickly added a sixth gross.

After Fajardo knocked down a wide-open Duke Williams, Bombers defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat forced the quarterback to fumble on the next possession and Jake Thomas recovered.

Winnipeg took over on their own 37-yard line, but on the Bombers’ third and three goals, Marc Liegghio appeared to fake a punt – or not get one – and he ran and was stopped before the first. held, recording a turnover on the downs.

Lauther ended up shooting away on a 36-yard field goal attempt and Janarion Grant sent the ball 58 yards to the Winnipeg 39-yard line.

The Bombers used his effort to scour the field for Harris’ three-yard TD at 13:39 for their first lead of the game, 14-10.

The head then changed hands twice. Williams had his touchdown, but the Bombers responded with McGuire’s one-yard quarterback for a 21-17 lead to Winnipeg at 6:34 of the fourth.

Williams was injured in a 31-yard catch with 2:14 left. The part was reviewed and the reception was maintained.

The Riders continued the Winnipeg 53’s push, but returned the ball on the ground practice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 5, 2021.


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