WINNIPEG – Matt Nichols threw for two touchdowns to push the Winnipeg Blue Bombers past the East Division-leading Ottawa Redblacks 29-9 at Investors Group Field on Friday.
The victory is the Bombers’ seventh in their last eight games. It also improves the team’s home record this year to 5-1.
Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris scored the only touchdown of the opening half by running into the endzone from 24 yards out. The major was set up by a Jackson Jeffcoat forced fumble just four plays earlier. The defensive end stripped the ball out of William Powell’s hands before recovering it.
The Bombers added three Justin Medlock field goals to carry a 16-2 lead into halftime. Ottawa’s two points came from Brett Maher punt singles.
Timothy Flanders put the Bombers further in front by snagging a four-yard Nichols pass for a touchdown in the third quarter. A fumble off the ensuing snap prevented Winnipeg from posting a convert.
Both teams traded majors in the fourth quarter starting with a Nichols to Darvin Adams 75-yard pass. The score came shortly after Maurice Leggett jumped on a Redblacks fumble. Ottawa replied in the final five minutes of the game with a Powell 11-yard touchdown run.
Ottawa started third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley in Friday’s game following injuries to Trevor Harris and Drew Tate. Lindley completed 16 of 36 passes for 151 yards and an interception in his first CFL start. Nichols, on the other hand, finished with 319 yards.
Winnipeg racked up 521 yards of offence in the game compared to 266 yards by the Redblacks. The Bombers also controlled time of possession, logging almost 11:30 more than Ottawa.
Kick-off was delayed for 20 minutes due to an approaching thunderstorm. Heavy rain soaked the stadium throughout the game causing puddles to form on the field. The downpours affected the game’s attendance which was an announced 26,588.
Bombers wide receiver Weston Dressler was hurt in the first half, forcing him out of the game. Dressler missed four weeks earlier this season with a lower-body injury.
Winnipeg (9-3) hits the road for its Week 15 contest on Sept. 30 against the Edmonton Eskimos. The Redblacks (5-8-1) host the Saskatchewan Roughriders next Friday.
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