Roberts, Keith should keep things lively on ground

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

REGINA -- It could be the Charles Roberts-Kenton Keith show tonight at Taylor Field.

The running backs for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders, respectively, are two of the CFL's best. And with question marks plastered all over starting quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Nealon Greene, the ground game could very well be the determining factor in the outcome.

"Both guys will make a difference in the game, without a doubt," Saskatchewan head coach Danny Barrett said. "... Their offence runs through Charles Roberts, so we can expect to see a lot of Charles, and they can expect to see a lot of Kenton.

"The bottom line is what happens up front will make the difference."

Roberts wasn't in a talking mood yesterday, bolting to the locker-room before the media could chase him down.

If history is an indication, however, the scatback must be awfully excited to begin his pursuit of a 2,000-yard season against the Roughriders; he has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in four of Winnipeg's last five games against Saskatchewan.

"It's like my birthday every time I play them," Roberts said last September after piling up 159 yards in the Banjo Bowl.

Keith, who didn't play in the pre-season due to injury, has nothing but respect for Roberts, but he added that tonight's tilt isn't Charles vs. Kenton.

"I love Charles Roberts," Keith said. "I'm blessed by being out here playing against him. Really, there's no rivalry between me and no other running backs. I don't think of it like that.

"I just wish the best of luck to him, and hopefully I get the same out of the deal."

And a few more rushing yards?

"Yeah, hopefully," Keith said.

SHOWTIME: Bombers rookie LB Scott Mennie will play a football game tonight in front of a national television audience for the first time.

"I'm pretty jacked about it," said Mennie, who could have played another year with the University of Manitoba Bisons had he not cracked Winnipeg's 40-man roster. "I'm glad I'm on kickoff and kickoff return, so I can get the first play out of the way right away. Then I just go play ball."

OVERTIME: Bombers head coach Jim Daley said yesterday that LB Willie Fells has decided to remain with the club and join the practice roster ... The Roughriders are expecting a crowd of approximately 26,000 for tonight's game.


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