WINNIPEG – Better late than never. After enduring a 2.5 hour weather delay, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers scored 21 first quarter points en route to a dominating 37-11 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Most fans chose to wait out the storm at Investors Group Field and they were rewarded with the Bombers first home win of the season. It was also a second straight Bombers victory as they improved their record to 3-4. It was the first time they’ve won back to back games since July of 2014.
“We had a mission tonight and went out and played a great game in all three phases.” said quarterback Matt Nichols.
The Bombers scored 34 points in the first half, which was more points than they scored in each of their first six games of the season. The Bombers lead 34-0 at half time and the 34 point lead at the half was their largest since 2003 and fourth highest half time lead in club history.
“We won a game. It feels good.” said head coach Mike O’Shea. “Things went our way, and a lot of plays we made them go our way. It was a pretty exciting first half.”
With lightning in the area the game didn’t even begin until after 10:00 pm, and it was clear the Bombers handled the delay much better than the visiting Tiger-Cats. It was the third time this season the Bombers had a game delayed by the weather.
“It is something that’s happened to us a couple times this year.” Nichols said. “It’s something our guys are used to and we kept it light in there and made sure we kept stretching and got each other fired up before we actually went out and played.”
WATCH: Matt Nichols discusses the Bombers win over the Tiger-Cats
Defensive back C.J. Roberts kick started the win for the Bombers as he made an interception on the Ticats very first play on offence and returned it for a touchdown.
“I’m pretty sure it was a big confidence booster.” said Roberts. “All week Coach O’Shea was telling us we got to start from the jump. From the handshake we got to go punch them in the mouth and like I said, I was just in position.”
In his first game since re-joining the club after being released in the off-season, receiver Clarence Denmark scored a touchdown on just their fourth play on offence. He finished the contest with seven catches for 69 yards.
“Everything came at me pretty fast.” said Denmark. “But once you got on the field and started moving around, it started to come back.”
An all new look receiving unit didn’t seem to faze Nichols. In winning a second straight game since replacing Drew Willy as the starting quarterback, Nichols passed for 246 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. With Weston Dressler, Darvin Adams and Ryan Smith all out of the lineup with injuries, Thomas Mayo stepped up after being placed in a starters role. Fresh off the practice roster Mayo was the team’s leading receiver with seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The win gave the Bombers a sweep of the season series with the Ticats. Andrew Harris had the other Bombers touchdown, while Jeff Mathews had the Tabbies lone major on a short quarterback sneak.
The Ticats committed six turnovers in their first meeting back in July, and had six more in their week seven match-up. In addition to the Roberts pick-6, Taylor Loffler and Ian Wild also made interceptions in the win.
The announced attendance was 24,041.
Offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick left the game in the first half with an upper body injury and did not return.
The Bombers will look to make it three straight wins next Friday when they travel to Toronto to meet the Argonauts.
WATCH: Mike O’Shea on the Bombers 37-11 win over the Ticats