Saskatchewan Roughriders beat up Bombers in the Labour Day Classic
The Saskatchewan Roughriders put an end to their five game losing streak with an exclamation point.
The Riders came into the 2012 Labour Day Classic with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers desperatly needing a win, and they came through in a big way, trouncing the Bombers 52-0 Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.
Coming into the game all the question were on the offense, and they finally responded, and they did so early. The Riders took a 3-0 lead on the first drive of the game, when kicker Sandro DeAngelis had his kick bounce off the upright and in. Not long after, quarterback Darian Durant would end a long streak without a touchdown pass when he would find receiver Weston Dressler in the end zone for his first of two touchdowns.
"He was a guy that was missing from the offense," said Head Coach Corey Chamblin about Dressler. "It gives him that confidence that continue to work hard and good things will happen."
It was a giant monkey off the backs of the offense too, having only scored one touchdown in the previous two games. Durant would find Dressler again to start the second quarter, on essentially the same play.
At that point the Bombers were still in the game, if they could get their offense going, but the tide would turn for good when linebacker Tyron Brackenridge blocked a punt, which he took for a touchdown, with just over 12 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter.
"It was wide open, it parted open like the Red Sea" said Brackenridge. "I just had to expect the block, and it was there for me."
Brackenridge would also pick off Bombers Quarterback Joey Elliott in the third quarter. All of this from someone who almost didn't play. Chamblin said after the game that defensive coordinator Richie Hall though Brackenridge wouldn't be able to go, but Chamblin ended up dressing him anyway after defensive back Woodny Turenne was a last minute scratch because of an injury.
It wasn't all good news for the Riders though, in the third quarter Durant took a pretty hard hit, and never came back. According to the team he left with an upper body injury, but it was a precaution. Chamblin said after the game that Durant is fine, and odds are he will be playing in the Banjo Bowl, unless the doctors find something they didn't on the field. For his part, Durant didn't think it was a dirty hit. Durant finished the game going 13 for 19, with 168 yards passing and two touchdowns. In Durant's spot Drew Willy went 8 for 10, for 98 yards and one touchdown. J.T. O'Sullivan also saw some snaps late in the game.
It was also a historic night for the Roughriders, the 52 point differential tied the team record for biggest blow out win in Labour Day history, when they beat the Bombers 56-4 in 1995. Sunday afternoon was also the first time the Riders defense shut someone out since 1976.
"Just go do it," said defensive back Eddie Russ when asked on what's going through the defense's mind late in a game like this. "Don't try to force anything, just come out and play disciplined."
The afternoon was also a big one for running back Kory Sheets. For the first time in his CFL career he rushed for more than 100 yards, finishing with 106 yards on the ground. It's also the first time the Riders have had someone rush for more than 100 yards since 2010.
"Today's game wasn't necessarily for me a big thing," said Sheets. "It was more a grind this out, keeping hitting them, keep hitting them, until the game is over, and that's pretty much what I did."
The Riders are now off until Wednesday, when they will start to get ready for the Banjo Bowl next Sunday in Winnipeg.