Bombers stumble against Redblacks

The Canadian Press
Scott Edmonds

WINNIPEG–Ask Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris about the accuracy of the throws that demolished the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night and he spreads the credit around.
“Our efficiency is because of our offensive line and our receivers,” Harris said after his Redblacks (6-3) beat the Bombers 44-21, extending Ottawa’s lead atop the CFL’s East Division to six points.
“Our receivers are getting their depth, catching footballs, making tough catches and our O-line is keeping me up, giving me time,” he noted.
Harris completed 29-of-39 passes for 361 yards and a touchdown.
Ottawa had just shy of 500 yards net offence and outscored the Bombers 22-7 at the half, adding another 22 points in the second to Winnipeg’s 14.
Harris connected with Dominique Rhymes for the TD.
William Powell ran for 106 yards and a TD while Dominique Davis punched in two for the Redblacks.
Bombers’ quarterback Matt Nichols completed 23-of-35 passes for 291 yards, including two TD passes to Darvin Adams, who had 162 receiving yards, as well as an interception for the Bombers (5-4).
Andrew Harris had 72 yards on the ground and TD.
Ottawa coach Rick Campbell said they’re lucky to have Harris.
“When you can protect him and give him any amount of time and keep him clean, he’s very accurate,” said Campbell, who approved of his team’s overall play Friday night.
“We came out with a certain [kind] of energy,” he noted. “We always had an answer tonight.
“They’re a good team and they kept fighting back, but we always had a response.”
The Bombers, particularly Nichols, were crushed by the defeat, which snapped a three-game winning streak and left them firmly in third place in the West.
Nichols took a hit to his right arm in fourth quarter and was taken off for a few plays to make sure he wasn’t hurt.
When he returned, he was booed by the home crowd.
“I came back on the field and got booed by the stadium. That was pretty hard for me tonight,” Nichols remarked.
Bombers’ coach Mike O’Shea said he understood Nichols’ disappointment but also could see it from the fans’ perspective.
“They get frustrated, too,” he reasoned.
He said Winnipeg’s penalties only helped give a good opponent extra chances.
“I think the game looks different if we’re more disciplined and we get off the field,” O’Shea stressed.
“I think then the defence is more rested, and I think our offence has more opportunities to drive the ball and battle a good defence.”
Twice the Bombers thought they stopped a two-point convert attempt only to have penalties give Ottawa second chances.
Both quarterbacks were sacked and gave up fumbles, but only Winnipeg paid with a touchdown.
The 27,602 fans at Investors Group Field had to listen over and over to the phrase “Harris completes . . .” as the Redblacks’ offence proved largely unstoppable.
Ottawa has two of the hottest players in the CFL in quarterback Harris and receiver Brad Sinopoli, although the latter didn’t get a lot of chances to add to his league-leading 60 receptions Friday night with Harris picking other targets.
One bright note for the Bombers was running back Harris passed the 7,000-yard mark and got his second-half touchdown.
There were three Harrises on the field Friday night–Ottawa receiver R.J. Harris, as well.
Elsewhere in Week 10 of the CFL, Toronto edged B.C. 24-23, Edmonton dumped Montreal 40-24, and Saskatchewan handed Calgary its first loss with a 40-27 victory.