September 22, 2018

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Record: 6–7–0

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Blue Bomber Report (6–7–0)

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Bye week no time for R and R

Reeling Blue need to keep sharp and fit

Nic Demski rushed the ball four times for 32 yards while catching three passes for 15 against Saskatchewan Saturday. (John Woods / The Canadian Press)</p></p>

Nic Demski rushed the ball four times for 32 yards while catching three passes for 15 against Saskatchewan Saturday. (John Woods / The Canadian Press)

Amid the gloom of Saturday's devastating loss, there was a ray of hope for what a bye week might bring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Slotback Nic Demski said Week 14 must be more than just a holiday for the 5-7 Bombers, who host the East's cellar-dwelling Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 21. A playoff spot in the West or even a cross-over post-season berth is not out of the question.

"It can go both ways, man," said Demski. "It matters how you approach it. If you go home and use your bye week as a vacation, you're probably not going to come back with the right type of mindset. But I mean, if you go home, get your body right — stay here and get your body right — use this week to look at yourself and evaluate your play and evaluate the team scheme and what we've gotta do to win, it could be a positive thing for us."

Demski was one of the more productive Bombers, rushing the ball four times for 32 yards while catching three passes for 15, but he expended a lot of energy trying to track down Saskatchewan defenders Willie Jefferson and Samuel Eguavoen, who scampered 97 and 103 yards, respectively, for touchdowns on second-quarter interceptions. The Roughriders moved to 7-4 with the 32-27 win.

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Amid the gloom of Saturday's devastating loss, there was a ray of hope for what a bye week might bring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Slotback Nic Demski said Week 14 must be more than just a holiday for the 5-7 Bombers, who host the East's cellar-dwelling Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 21. A playoff spot in the West or even a cross-over post-season berth is not out of the question.

"It can go both ways, man," said Demski. "It matters how you approach it. If you go home and use your bye week as a vacation, you're probably not going to come back with the right type of mindset. But I mean, if you go home, get your body right — stay here and get your body right — use this week to look at yourself and evaluate your play and evaluate the team scheme and what we've gotta do to win, it could be a positive thing for us."

Demski was one of the more productive Bombers, rushing the ball four times for 32 yards while catching three passes for 15, but he expended a lot of energy trying to track down Saskatchewan defenders Willie Jefferson and Samuel Eguavoen, who scampered 97 and 103 yards, respectively, for touchdowns on second-quarter interceptions. The Roughriders moved to 7-4 with the 32-27 win.

"We're going into the last third of the season so it's time to really look at our options here," said Demski. "It's either we continue at this pace and don't make the playoffs or we change this around right now and make the changes necessary so we can make playoffs."'

"We've gotta close out these games, man," said Demski. "We keep 'em tight, we're winning and then I don't know what happens in the fourth quarter. We've just gotta play a consistent four quarters of football man. I'm getting asked this all the time, 'What needs to change.' I feel like I'm repeating myself. We've just gotta make more plays than them and I think that's where we're lacking."

Second-year receiver Drew Wolitarsky had the second-most productive game of his career, catching five passes for 67 yards while being targeted a game-high 10 times.

"It's pretty obvious — those turnovers killed us," said Wolitarsky. "It just can't happen and can't give points to teams and expect to win. That just kills momentum and it hurts but we just have to make our plays, too. There's a lot of little drops that look insignificant but I mean you've gotta put in the work and effort to finish...

"We've gotta take this bye week and reassess and get our minds right and get on a roll."

Wolitarsky also welcomed the bye week.

"We've lost four in a row, it's definitely not a high point point but we're still sticking together and that's the most important thing," he said. "We have players that we know will come back healthy and that's what we need right now."

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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