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Rookie Bombers impress in soggy scrimmage

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/6/2012 (1895 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After a week of watching practice, an organized controlled scrimmage — even if it was just for 20 minutes — counts as a big deal at Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp.

Emerging from the locker room after a 20-minute spell to avoid the worst of the lightning, the coaches put the players through the paces of a game simulation at a soggy Canad Inns Stadium Saturday. Head coach Paul LaPolice made the most of the less than ideal weather conditions, treating the break as a simulated halftime before sending out his charges for the third quarter.

The Bombers' big rookie receiver Chris Matthews.


The Bombers' big rookie receiver Chris Matthews.

Quarterback Buck Pierce led the first-team offence against the first-team defence and marched his unit down the field for a touchdown. The big play: a 46-yard completion to receiver Paul Hubbard over defensive back Jovon Johnson for the major score.

Hubbard was one of three rookie receivers who impressed during the mock-game. Doug Pierce made a difficult grab in traffic over defensive back Johnny Sears in one series, while Chris Matthews put his 6-foot-5 frame to good use, catching two passes from quarterback Alex Brink over Johnson.

The second was a jump ball fade to the front corner of the endzone over the reigning CFL defensive player of the year, a grab that drew a nice ovation from the small crowd at the stadium.

Matthews said he was pleased with his effort Saturday.

"You have to make plays," the 22-year-old offered. "You can’t be content on just making a catch or two here and there, you have to do it on a consistent basis. Doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing out there — just catch the ball.

"I wasn’t the only one out there catching the ball well (Saturday).

There’s a good group here. We’re trying to make it hard for the defence and for the coaches."

Of the half-dozen or so Bombers battling injury after a week of training camp, only defensive back Alex Suber returned to action today.

The club is back on the field Sunday morning (8:30 a.m.).



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