Brazzell, Bombers a match made in heaven

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

It didn't take long for the new deep threat to find the end zone.

Although newcomer Chris Brazzell was nervous and didn't have a huge impact in his Winnipeg Blue Bombers debut last week (two catches for 37 yards) against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the speedy receiver broke out in a big way last night.

Brazzell had a strong game overall, but the exclamation point was his 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown with two seconds left in the first half -- a play that turned out to be a back-breaker as the Blue Bombers earned a 38-17 victory over the Ottawa Renegades last night before an enthusiastic crowd of 26,595 at Canad Inns Stadium.

"That was huge for our confidence going into the second half," said Brazzell, who finished with four catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns to lead all receivers.

What made the play even more important was that the Renegades had just kicked a field goal to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 12 seconds to go.

The Blue Bombers had the ball at their own 35 and many figured they'd just run out the clock, go to the locker-room and regroup for the second half.

Not so fast.

With 1-on-1 coverage against cornerback Bo Rogers, Brazzell broke downfield and then had to use his great vertical to jump into the air, make the acrobatic catch and scurry into the end zone for the major.

"We knew we could go vertical and we did," said Blue Bombers head coach Jim Daley. "Prior to that it was a slugfest. That was a really big play. (Brazzell) used his height advantage and pulled away."

Rogers, who had an interception earlier in the second quarter, was trying to make a case that Brazzell created the separation illegally, but no flag was thrown by the officials.

"I just beat him on that play, I didn't push off on him or anything -- I don't think," said Brazzell, acquired from the Tabbies for Kamau Peterson.

Brazzell added a five-yard touchdown reception 3:48 into the fourth quarter for his second major of the night and fourth of the season.

It's easy to see that Brazzell is benefitting from a change of scenery and he has no problem with how he's been fitting into the Blue Bombers scheme.

"As soon as I got traded I said 'this has to be to be my chance. This opportunity has to be right,' and so far it's going great," said Brazzell. "I'm naturally a wide receiver and I'm thankful for the opportunities for some deep balls that I can go up and get. A trade in this situation was for the better."


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