Cool start for Blue
By PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun
The view from the press box, on a night we find out what the rookie kicker is made of. That north wind was gusting to 54 clicks when I left home. Welcome to October in Winnipeg, kid. Was that a winter parka I saw on the way in?
CROWD BITES: Haven't seen a crowd this small since the dark days of the '90s. Safe to say the mosquitoes will outnumber the paying customers tonight ... Field position is going to be huge, with that gale blowing. The Renegades do a good job in that department immediately, pinning the Bombers on their own seven. Two plays and nine yards later, it's time to concede the safety, right? Nope. Head coach Dave Ritchie calls for the punt, and next thing you know it's 3-0 Ottawa. Strange call ... The Winnipeg offence bogs down again, but this time Ryan nails a 47-yard kick into the wind. He might not hit a better punt this season ... Renegades running back Josh Ranek takes an option play in for the major, and it's 10-0 ... Not for long, though, as Kamau Peterson scores his first touchdown in blue and gold as we get into the second quarter.
FASHION FOUL-UP: What's this, Ottawa's Syniker Taylor is called for a dress code violation? I know how he feels. That happens to me about once a week ... Moe Elewonibi snaps one over Khari Jones' head, and doesn't that bring back ugly memories from last season ... Robert Gordon makes a diving touchdown grab, but it's called back because of a holding call on Elewonibi. This is why receivers and offensive linemen can't be drinking buddies ... Reggie Jones beats former Bomber Dave Donaldson to set the Bombers up on the Ottawa two. But fullback Randy Bowles, who didn't touch the ball once in the pre-season, fumbles his first carry of the year and the Bombers gag on that chance. Easy to second-guess, but why not give the ball to someone who knows what it feels like?
EXTRRRRREME: A tip of the toque to the half-time entertainment, Australia's shirtless Pacific Extreme Team, who must be thinking this was all some cruel joke. And to think, the days start getting shorter on Monday ... Second half, Renegades up 13-10, and another backwards punt return leaves the Bombers on their own two. Could someone tell Keith Stokes the field runs north-south here ... Another dress code violation, this time on Stokes. What is this, the Academy Awards? ... Khari Jones should have two interceptions by now, if the Renegades defenders had hands ... Set up at the Ottawa three, the Bombers find another way to foul it up -- this time a clipping penalty on Gordon wipes out a Charles Roberts touchdown. That's three trips inside the 10 and two lousy field goals, and the boo-birds are out.
YO, ERIC! Bomber corner Eric Carter, perhaps still celebrating his big hit on the previous play, watches Yo Murphy get behind him for a 74-yard touchdown pass from Kerry Joseph ... Khari Jones answers that by serving up an interception that goes 55 yards the other way, and it's 27-13 Renegades. Somewhere, Paul LaPolice is smiling ... The Bombers finally get a turnover and make it down to the Ottawa 10 again. Let's see how they mess this up. Yikes, Jones throws a pass that could easily have gone for another six the other way.
CONFIRMED: Based on what we've seen tonight, the Bomber secondary is as bad as advertised. Joseph hits the 300-yard passing mark and caps it with a touchdown of his own for a 34-16 Ottawa lead ... Khari Jones, taking a pounding now, gets picked off again. I thought this team had capable backups this year ... Heard someone say they've caught their first cold of the winter season. That's funny, because the Bombers acted like it's early November, too.