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It's battle of the backups as Blue look to lick Stamps

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz will start tonight against Calgary.

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz will start tonight against Calgary. Photo Store

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have more than just two points in the standings on their mind when they host the Calgary Stampeders Friday night at Investors Group Field.

Today is the second anniversary of the passing of much-beloved Bombers assistant coach Richard Harris and club officials and players have spent much of Friday tweeting memoriams in honour of Harris, who died suddenly of a heart attack July 26, 2011 in his office at the old Canad Inns Stadium.

"RIP Coach Harris. ‘Morning Big Blue,’ " Bombers defenisve lineman Bryant Turner tweeted, referencing the thunderous greeting Harris delivered at the start of every Bombers practice.

Turner was a protegé of Harris, who was also the club’s defensive line coach, and the 1-3 Bombers will need a big performance from their Front 4 tonight if they are going to beat the 3-1 Stampeders, who are riding a seven-game winning streak against Winnipeg that goes all the way back to July 2009.

The Bombers will need a big push along the line of scrimmage to shut down Calgary tailback Jon Cornish — who is second in the league in rushing — and also get pressure on the Calgary quarterback.

Who that Calgary quarterback will be still remained a closely guarded question until just an hour before kickoff, when word leaked out that Bo Levi Mitchell would start tonight for the Stamps.

Although injured Stamps starter Drew Tate did take some first-team reps in practice on Wednesday, it was expected the Stamps would go with their third-stringer in Mitchell tonight.

Mitchell will be making his first-ever professional start, just like Bombers starting QB Justin Goltz, who gets the nod tonight instead of regular starter Buck Pierce.

The Bombers game-time scratches are RB Will Ford, DT Marquis Frazier, OL Chris Kowalczuk and WR Doug Pierce.

The game is being broadcast live on TSN and CJOB.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 7:08 PM CDT: corrects typo in headline.

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