Stamps snuff out late charge by Bombers

Calgary Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds sprints for the goal-line as
Winnipeg Blue...

Calgary Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds sprints for the goal-line as Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Lenny Walls goes for the tackle last night at McMahon Stadium. (Jim Wells, Sun Media)

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Joffrey Reynolds spent the first half rewriting the Calgary Stampeders' record book.

After the break, Fred Reid and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers nearly erased the lead.

Reynolds and Reid each scored a pair of majors last night as the Stampeders built a 20-point halftime lead and hung on for a 31-23 victory over the Blue Bombers in a battle between two of the CFL's best all-around ballcarriers at McMahon Stadium.

"Fortunately, running the ball keeps the clock running," Reynolds said. "Time was on our side this time."

It was a milestone night for Reynolds, who leapfrogged Lovell Coleman and moved into third on Calgary's all-time rushing charts with a career total of 6,423 yards. The 29-year-old from Houston also climbed into ninth spot in the club's history books with 44 touchdowns.

And he wasn't even the most productive running back on the field.

Reid rumbled for 116 yards in the third quarter alone and finished with 189 combined yards as the visitors trimmed a 23-3 halftime deficit and made things interesting.

The Bombers' starting tailback was a non-factor in the first 30 minutes, but burst to life in the second half, making Mike Labinjo's early departure due to a suspected calf injury even more noticeable.

Even Reynolds, who finished with 51 yards on the ground and 45 through the air, admitted he was impressed with Reid's second-half surge.

"He had a lot of big runs, but his offensive line -- I think I could've driven my truck through some of those holes," Reynolds said. "Fortunately, it was too little, too late."

Whatever Blue Bombers boss Mike Kelly had to say to his troops at the break, it worked.

After a listless first frame -- the Bombers had four straight two-and-out drives after opening kickoff -- rocket-armed quarterback Michael Bishop, Reid and the rest of the Bombers gave the defending champions a second-half scare.

Reid rumbled into the endzone twice and kicker Alexis Serna booted a pair of field goals to close the gap, and the boys in blue were marching toward the endzone again as the seconds ticked off the clock.

An interception by safety Wes Lysack with 39 seconds remaining sealed the deal.

"They made it a tough evening in the second half, but I will say this -- our football team did make the plays at the end to win the football game," said Stampeders coach John Hufnagel.

"When you have a team with that type of the lead, you would think that you wouldn't be fighting for your life at the end of the game, but you have to give credit to Winnipeg. They did some things in the second half and made a game of it."

Reynolds scored both of his touchdowns in the first half, and quarterback Henry Burris hooked up with receiver Titus Ryan for a 36-yard major in the third quarter.

The Stampeders improved to 3-3 -- including 2-2 on home turf -- and joined the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders in a logjam atop the West Division standings, while the Bombers fell to 2-4 and remain tied for third in the East.

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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