Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

BLUE BOMBER Notebook

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THE Winnipeg Blue Bombers return to the practice field at Canad Inns Stadium this morning with the most daunting of tasks in front of them -- figuring out a way to put a touchdown on the board against their next opponent, the B.C. Lions.

With a 24-5 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Sunday night at BC Place, the 5-2 Lions -- who will face the Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium Friday evening -- have now gone three games without yielding a major.

In addition to Sunday's win -- in which Saskatchewan was held to a lone field goal and a late conceded safety -- the Lions also didn't give up any TDs in an 18-9 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Aug. 6 or in a 34-8 win over the Calgary Stampeders July 28. In total, the Lions have surrendered just 22 points in their last three games.

The last touchdown against the Lions came on July 20 when Edmonton Eskimos cornerback Joe Burnett returned an interception 108 yards for a TD at 6:05 of the fourth quarter. The Eskimos went on to beat the Lions 27-14 -- the last time the Lions have been beaten.

Put it together and the Lions will head into Friday's game against the Bombers riding a three-game winning streak and leading the CFL in most major defensive categories, including fewest first downs, fewest yards net offence, fewest TDs and fewest points surrendered.

While newly installed Bombers starting QB Joey Elliott mostly had his way with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defence last Thursday, throwing for 406 yards in a 32-25 Bombers victory, the Lions are clearly a much stingier breed of cat.

Winnipeg's win over Hamilton was just the second Bombers' win of the season -- they are now 2-5 -- but perhaps more significantly, it was their second win in three games and the Bombers are now 2-1 on their current four-game homestand.

The homestand wraps up against the Lions on Friday, after which the Bombers will face the Roughriders in back-to-back games -- Sept. 2 in Regina in the annual Labour Day Weekend Classic and then again Sept. 9 in the Banjo Bowl at Canad Inns Stadium.

With Sunday's loss to the Lions, the Riders have now lost four straight games after opening the season at 3-0. The Riders face Calgary at Mosaic Stadium this Saturday and could conceivably be riding a five-game losing streak heading into the home-and-home series against the Bombers.

FIELDNOTES -- There's a YouTube video out right now in which an oft-parodied scene from the 2004 film, Downfall, about the final days of Adolf Hitler has been re-subtitled so it appears Hitler is ranting in German about the news that the opening of Investors Group Field has been delayed until next season..."Ughh, now I have to go back to Canad Inns," Hitler shouts. "Are you telling me I have to walk up that damn ramp again?!"...The Bombers, at last report, had sold 25,000 tickets to Friday's game.

-- Paul Wiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2012 C4

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