The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG–Adam Bighill was signed by the Blue Bombers for his leadership and tenacious talents.
He delivered big time on Saturday.
The veteran linebacker had three quarterback sacks, one forced fumble that led to a touchdown, and eight defensive tackles in Winnipeg’s 31-0 shutout of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“When you get a quarterback sack, it feels good,” said Bighill, a seven-year veteran who was the CFL’s top defensive player in 2015 while with the B.C. Lions.
“You’re really taking the wind right out of them and it’s demoralizing for them, and it’s demoralizing for your opponent when you’re just beating your man one-on-one and you’re winning,” he noted.
Winnipeg extended its winning streak to four games and improved to 9-7, remaining in third place in the tight CFL West Division standings, two points behind Saskatchewan.
It was the Bombers’ first shutout victory since a 29-0 win over Hamilton in 2006.
The Riders’ last shutout loss was a 24-0 decision to Edmonton back in 2014.
“It’s just a taste of reality. It happens,” said Saskatchewan defensive lineman Charleston Hughes.
“We did get shut out,” he noted. “They pretty much dominated the whole entire game.
“Now you just really go back to the drawing board and figure out what happens.”
The Bombers avoided a season-series sweep by the Riders (10-6), who already had secured a playoff spot.
Bombers’ safety Taylor Loffler intercepted quarterback Zach Collaros twice and the home team scored all 31 points by halftime in front of 26,070 fans at Investors Group Field.
“We’ve got to protect [Collaros],” Riders’ offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte stressed.
“You can’t let him get roughed up, especially early in the game.
“And we can’t turn the ball over because I think no matter what else we focus on, that was the one thing that truly put the dagger in us,” he added.
Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones called it an “inexplicable loss” with too many early mistakes.
He was asked if he was worried about Collaros’ recent performances.
“My name’s not ‘Chicken Little’ so I’m not going to sit here and start pointing fingers at anybody,” Jones replied.
“I mean, if I’m pointing fingers at anybody, it needs to be me.”
Elsewhere in the CFL this weekend, Hamilton beat Toronto 34-20, Edmonton downed Ottawa 34-16, and B.C. upset Calgary 26-21.