Tag Archives: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Banjo Bowl Quickly Moving to a Sellout

Banjo Bowl Quickly Moving to a Sellout

Andrew Harris
Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris (33) splits a seam during Labour Day CFL action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina on Sunday, September 4, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor)

Less than 150 single tickets are left for Saturday’s Banjo Bowl.

The annual Winnipeg Blue Bombers — Saskatchewan Roughriders tilt at Investors Group Field kicks off at 3 p.m.

Winnipeg is third in the West Division behind B.C. and Calgary after last weekend’s 28-25 win over Saskatchewan at the Labour Day Classic.

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Riders Fire Head Coach Corey Chamblin and GM Brendan Taman After 0-9 Start

Riders Fire Head Coach Corey Chamblin and GM Brendan Taman After 0-9 Start

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced on Monday they have fired head coach Corey Chamblin, and vice president of football operations and general manager Brendan Taman.

The Roughriders are coming off a 35-13 loss to Ottawa on Sunday that dropped their record to 0-9. They are the only winless club in the CFL this season and sit in the West Division basement — six points behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who are 3-6.

“We are not meeting our expectations or our standards on the field and these changes were necessary to move us forward,” said Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds.

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Bombers Give Fans Access Ahead of Banjo Bowl

Bombers Give Fans Access Ahead of Banjo Bowl

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Logo

Ahead of this weekend’s Banjo Bowl at Investors Group Field, fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers can take in Fan Appreciation Day.

On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., fans can mingle with mascots Buzz and Boomer, observe the Bombers’ walk-through practice, get player autographs and walk on the turf for family-friendly activities.

Free parking will be available in the “U” lot across from IGF on Chancellor Matheson Road.

The Bombers host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a rematch Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

— Staff

Blue Bombers Finally Win One for the Fans

Blue Bombers Finally Win One for the Fans

By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)

Justin Goltz - Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Justin Goltz (18) gets sacked in action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the Banjo Bowl at Investors Group Field on Sunday, September 8, 2013. The Bombers won 25-13. (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)
Weldon Brown - Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Weldon Brown (35) runs to open space on Sunday during the Banjo Bowl. (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers evened the score with their prairie rivals from Regina on Sunday afternoon with a 25-13 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the tenth edition of the Banjo Bowl in front of a sellout crowd of 33,500.

The victory — Winnipeg’s first at Investors Group Field — squares the all-time Banjo Bowl series at 5-5, and splits the home-and-home that began last week with Winnipeg’s 48-25 loss in Saskatchewan.

Blue Bombers faithful have stuck with this team through thick and thin this year, all despite going winless for over two months and compiling a shaggy 2-8 record.

“We’ve got incredible fans, and I’ve always said; they’ll let you know whenever you’re not doing what you need to get done,” said veteran left tackle Glenn January. “This is a community that demands the best from us, and rightfully so. They support us through thick and thin, and we know that it’s been a long while since this club has been able to reach the ultimate goal. And this is nowhere near a Grey Cup victory, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for this club. It’s had some turmoil and change up to this point, and this is nothing more than a first step and hopefully we all understand that and continue to prepare the way that we did to help get this win.”

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Sask. Premier to Blue Bombers: It’s On!

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took the first shot across the bow Friday ahead of this weekend’s Banjo Bowl.

With a banjo in hand (naturally), Wall took a jab at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a 19-second YouTube clip as they prepare for a rematch Sunday against the visiting Roughriders.

“Oh, hi. I was just playing the banjo,” Wall said as he turns to the camera after strumming a few chords. “You know, it’s funny. I practice a lot… it turns out I’m just not very good at it. Kind of like the Bombers — at football.”

The video was well on its way to going viral, with those on Twitter forwarding the link to Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger asking for his response.

Hall wore a Gene Makowsky jersey to do his trash-talking. The offensive lineman spent 17 seasons and his entire CFL career with the Roughriders before retiring in 2012.

Selinger responded via Twitter a few hours later:

The Bombers dropped their ninth-straight Labour Day Classic last week in Regina, suffering a 48-25 loss to their green and white rivals. Sunday’s game is played amid a weekend full of Banjo Bowl-related activities around the city. Kickoff at Investors Group Field is at 3 p.m.

Blue Bombers Drop Labour Day Classic with Loss to Roughriders

Blue Bombers Drop Labour Day Classic with Loss to Roughriders

By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)

Taj Smith - Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Taj Smith (L) celebrates his touchdowns with fans during while playing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the second half of the CFL football game in Regina, Saskatchewan September 1, 2013. The Roughriders won the game 48-25. (DAVID STOBBE / REUTERS)

REGINA — For a moment, it appeared the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were about to silence their doubters.

By the final gun, the Saskatchewan Roughriders were 8-1 for the first time in franchise history, and the 1-8 Bombers had dropped their ninth-straight Labour Day Classic in Regina by a score of 48-25 in front of an expanded capacity sellout crowd of 44,910 at Mosaic Stadium.

“If you look at the positives, our offence played better as a unit. I think (offensive coordinator) Marcel (Bellefeuille) made some great adjustments during the game,” said Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke. “I thought Justin Goltz played good until the end of the game when he threw the two picks, because we were in the game. And he contributed a lot towards those 25 points.”

At the half, the Blue Bombers led 18-14. But Goltz’s pair of costly throwing errors in the fourth quarter — both of which Saskatchewan capitalized on with majors as part of a 24-point quarter — sealed Winnipeg’s fate.

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Bombers Blow It Late in Banjo Bowl

Bombers Blow It Late in Banjo Bowl

By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ safety Dan West maneuvers to stop Saskatchewan Roughriders returner Jock Sanders during play at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg on Sunday, September 9, 2012. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive end Jason Vega attempts to knock down a Drew Willy pass at Canad Inns Stadium on Sunday. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA)

WINNIPEG — It was a chance for some serious redemption after one of the worst losses in franchise history, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came up just short in the 2012 Banjo Bowl, losing 25-24 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on a last-second field goal.

And while costly penalties at key times definitely hindered the Blue and Gold, a game-changing decision made by rookie head coach Tim Burke came with just under a minute to play.

Leading 23-22 with 55 seconds remaining in the game, the Bombers elected to punt the ball from the Riders’ own 36-yard line, in an attempt to pin Saskatchewan deep with precious time dwindling.

Punter Mike Renaud ended up kicking it nowhere near the sideline and through the end zone for the single to make it 24-22 Winnipeg. It immediately gave the Riders the ball on the 35, where they marched 43 yards on four quick plays to set up a 40-yard Sandro DeAngelis field goal for the victory.

“I’ll be honest. In retrospect, I should have kicked the field goal,” said Burke of his critical decision. “It was 42 yards with the wind. I should have just kicked it. I played it too conservative.”

“The way our defence was playing I thought we’d hold in there.”

Watch post-game reaction:

And while the Bombers held in there with a team that walloped them 52-0 just seven days earlier in the Labour Day Classic in Regina, the offence is still struggling, having not scored a touchdown in nine quarters of football.

“I wouldn’t say we did a good job. We improved in some areas,” said veteran left tackle Glenn January. “Regardless of their record, their defence is fairly good. They’re one of the better pass-rushing teams in the league… I felt like we did a pretty good job in some crucial situations, but you know, it’s obviously not enough. Whenever we get in the red zone, we have to get touchdowns and not field goals.”

On paper, the offence appears effective as quarterback Joey Elliott went 19-of-33 for 241 yards in his sixth career CFL start, while running back Chad Simpson rushed nine times for 74 yards for a very solid 8.2 yards-per-carry average, and added 29 yards receiving.

The Winnipeg defence folded when needed the most, but put up a relatively decent stat line despite allowing backup quarterback Drew Willy and the Riders offence to total nearly 300 yards of offence after starter Darian Durant left the game late in the opening quarter with a hip injury.

Winnipeg collected six sacks (Jason Vega; 3, Kenny Mainor; 2), five tackles for a loss, and a Brandon Stewart interception.

Mainor could have completed the hat trick along with Vega, but chose to take a bewildering penalty by tossing Willy into the turf after driving him back nearly 20 yards on his feet.

“We just can’t have this anymore,” said Burke of his team’s continued issues with committing costly and avoidable penalties. “Maybe we’ve got to sit some guys who don’t have the brains enough handle these situations.”

“You’re sacking the quarterback. ‘I can’t hear the whistle.’ Well, no sh–- Sherlock. It’s so loud you can’t hear the whistle. But you’ve got to be smart enough — you can’t drill the guy into the ground anyway.”

Winnipeg’s season looks lost at this point, sitting at a league-worst 2-8 and deep in the cellar of the CFL East Division.

View the photo gallery below from the Banjo Bowl.

ChrisD.ca video/Darrin Bauming

Blue Bombers Bust in Labour Day Classic

Blue Bombers Bust in Labour Day Classic

By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)

Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback Chris Getzlaf (R) runs up the ball while trying to get away from Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Alex Suber during the second half of the Labour Day Classic in Regina on Sunday, September 2, 2012. The Roughriders won the game 52 – 0. (DAVID STOBBE / REUTERS)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke speaks to the media following the team’s loss in Regina on Sunday. (DARRIN BAUMING / CHRISD.CA)

REGINA, Sask. — There must be something in the Regina water.

Or maybe the late August and early September field stubble burning in the central prairies just smokes out any of the plans the Winnipeg Blue Bombers try to put together every year in an attempt to end their epidemic drought of success in the Labour Day Classic.

And it seems to get worse year after year, as the Bombers dropped their eighth consecutive at Mosaic Stadium by a ridiculous 52-0 margin to the West Division’s last-placed Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday afternoon.

“They know we haven’t won here since 2004, so they’re fully aware of the struggles we’ve had,” said veteran receiver Terrence Edwards of educating his younger Winnipeg teammates of what was to be expected in the biggest non-playoff game of the year. “We want to be the team that breaks the streak, but we’ll never win a game again if we play like that.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Winnipeg was absolutely atrocious from the get-go — outplayed by the Riders in utterly every facet known to the game of football. Beyond scrounging together a measly 102 yards of offence  — 32 coming on the final drive of the game when it was already an embarrassment — Saskatchewan blocked punts, returning one for a touchdown, recovered bobbled Bombers punt returns, ran, threw, caught, out-hit and out-played their opponents in every which way imaginable.

“I can’t think of any aspect that we won,” said Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke after his debut as a professional bench boss. “We’ve got a lot better talent than our record shows. We have got to find a way to dig down deep and pull out the best performances we can… week after week after week.”

“Each individual has got to find a way to play the best game of their life — every week.”

It sounds like a tall order. And it is.

But when it comes down to it, this team just can’t keep things close in the majority of their trips to Regina. Regardless who’s coaching.

Saskatchewan handed Winnipeg their hat last year, 27-7, when the Riders held a lowly 1-7 record to the first place Bombers’ 7-1. And while Winnipeg won 17-4 way back in 2004 — the last time they fired their head coach (Dave Richie) mid-season — they’ve lost the 2005 through 2010 matchups by an average of 13.8 points.

“I can tell you as a person who’s has played for both teams in the Labour Day Classic, and winning when I was in Saskatchewan,” said veteran Winnipeg tackle Glenn January. “It is really driven home that it’s a big game. So you’re going to get the best game from the team playing against you. You’re going to get the best game from the fans as far as just ravenous, down-your-throat.”

“When you have a young team, sometimes it’s just hard to adjust.”

Game Notes

Winnipeg quarterback Joey Elliott finished the game 9-of-19 for 61 yards and an interception. He was replaced by Alex Brink in the fourth quarter and went 5-of-7 for 35 yards.

Bombers running back Chad Simpson carried the ball eight times for 34 yards; a respectable 4.3 yards-per-carry. He also lead the team with four receptions.

Winnipeg fumbled the ball three times, losing it twice. They also turned the ball over on downs twice. Saskatchewan committed zero turnovers.

Saskatchewan completed 26 first downs to Winnipeg’s 10.

The Riders held possession for nearly twice as long as the Bombers; 39:06 to 20:54.

Saskatchewan net offence; 422 yards. Winnipeg net offence; 102 yards.

The Blue Bombers were last shutout in 1969. It was a 33-0 loss in the season opener at home vs. Edmonton.

Bombers Trade Odell Willis, Send Swaggerville Mayor West

Bombers Trade Odell Willis, Send Swaggerville Mayor West

The mayor of Swaggerville is now a Roughrider.

Defensive end Odell Willis has been traded by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in exchange for Saskatchewan’s second round pick (8th overall) in the 2012 CFL Draft, their fourth round pick (23rd overall) in the 2012 CFL Draft, a conditional draft pick in the 2013 CFL Draft, and a conditional fifth round pick in the 2013 CFL Draft.

“We would like to thank Odell for passionate intensity and contributions to our football club the past two and a half seasons,” said vice-president of football operations and GM Joe Mack. “However, it became evident through a combination of team and staff interactions, and several one-on-one discussions, that Odell no longer wanted to be a part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Therefore, we felt it would be the best interest of both Odell and the organization to facilitate this trade and proceed in a different direction.”

Willis played two full seasons with the Bombers after being acquired in a trade with the Calgary Stampeders in 2009.