November 21, 2018

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Record: 10–8–0

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Blue Bomber Report (10–8–0)

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Bombers trio up for awards

Harris, Bryant, Bighill among West Division nominees

Blue Bombers left tackle Stanley Bryant will have the opportunity to defend his title as the CFL’s top lineman. (Wayne Glowacki / Free Press files)</p></p>

Blue Bombers left tackle Stanley Bryant will have the opportunity to defend his title as the CFL’s top lineman. (Wayne Glowacki / Free Press files)

A day after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had seven players earn West Division all-star nods, three of those recipients were honoured Thursday as West nominees for major CFL awards.

Two of those players — running back Andrew Harris and left tackle Stanley Bryant — will be vying for back-to-back titles in the awards that were voted on by members of the Football Reporters of Canada and will be handed out during Grey Cup week.

Harris is once again the West nominee for most outstanding Canadian, while Bryant will look to repeat as the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman.

“It’s the same story (this year). It’s the guys around me that contribute to it, and I’m definitely proud to represent the West,” Harris said. “It’s my teammates that really deserve all the honour and the coaching staff putting me in good situations to make good plays. It’s a team effort.”

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A day after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had seven players earn West Division all-star nods, three of those recipients were honoured Thursday as West nominees for major CFL awards.

Two of those players — running back Andrew Harris and left tackle Stanley Bryant — will be vying for back-to-back titles in the awards that were voted on by members of the Football Reporters of Canada and will be handed out during Grey Cup week.

Harris is once again the West nominee for most outstanding Canadian, while Bryant will look to repeat as the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman.

"It’s the same story (this year). It’s the guys around me that contribute to it, and I’m definitely proud to represent the West," Harris said. "It’s my teammates that really deserve all the honour and the coaching staff putting me in good situations to make good plays. It’s a team effort."

Harris is up against Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli from the East. Harris put up a strong case to repeat this year, leading the CFL in rushing with 1,390 yards. But so, too, has Sinopoli, who set a new record for receptions in a single season by a Canadian with 116 catches for 1,376 yards.

Bryant flanked an offensive line that was considered by many to be the best in the CFL.

He’ll contend with another formidable player in Brandon Revenberg, who plays left guard for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on a unit that allowed the third-fewest quarterback sacks (36), behind the 27 allowed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders.

Bombers middle linebacker Adam Bighill was named the West nominee for top defensive player. Bighill finished tied for third with Hamilton’s Larry Dean, the East nominee, for most defensive tackles with 105. Both players had two interceptions, with each returning one for a touchdown. Bighill also had four sacks and four forced fumbles compared to zero in each category for Dean, making him the surest bet among the three Bombers to win.

"Every year it’s not the first goal in mind, the first goal is to win a Grey Cup with your team. You put hard work in every week, every single day with your guys and you hope that from your hard work, it’s gonna pay off. You make plays because they come to you and you’ve prepared for them," Bighill said. "So, getting to this point right now is very humbling. It’s fun because I’ve gotten to do it with my teammates out there. We’ve really been building this momentum and we’ve had a great time."

A WILD OPTION

Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea was unable to provide any update on injured linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox, who was seen Wednesday wearing a walking boot and hasn’t practised in two workouts this week.

"We’ll see again tomorrow," O’Shea said.

If Santos-Knox can’t go, the Bombers will likely look towards Ian Wild or Kyrie Wilson. Wild is the more experienced of the two, having played six seasons in the CFL, while Wilson has a combined six games of experience over two seasons in Winnipeg.

Wild has also been a personal favourite of O’Shea, who brought him back this year after an injury-riddled season in 2017.

"A pro who is always working and I think his teammates probably see that. He’s locked in in meetings, he knows what he’s supposed to do out on the field," O’Shea said.

"Athletically, he’s always in great shape and he’s a top-notch athlete — very fast, quick, strong. He’s been a starter in different positions. He’s played safety, he’s played linebacker… he’s been a running back. So he’s played all over the field through the course of his football lifetime. So in that regard, he’s got a good football IQ, understands the game. All these players are around here because they can play."

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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History

Updated on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 7:22 AM CST: Photo added

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