Blue on the board

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

Ricky Williams had heard that Charles Roberts was a pretty good running back.

It turns out Williams has good ears.

BOMBERS 16 ARGONAUTS 9

Roberts went out and showed off his skills to Williams last night at Canad Inns Stadium, rushing 32 times for 133 yards and a touchdown to propel the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 16-9 win over the Toronto Argonauts in their 2006 home-opener.

Williams, the NFL's rushing champ in 2002, had just eight carries for 14 yards -- all night.

Roberts' 32 carries were the second-most in a game in Bomber history. Blaise Bryant had 34 rushes in 1994.

The Winnipeg victory, in front of 26,524 spectators on a gorgeous summer evening, also was the first for new Bombers head coach Doug Berry, whose father, Russ, flew in for the game from New Hampshire.

Winnipeg (1-1) hosts the Edmonton Eskimos, who are 0-1 going into tonight's game against Calgary, next Saturday at the Stadium.

It was a wild week for Roberts, who seemed to be reaching a personal breaking point on Tuesday. During a rant after practice, the 5-foot-6 tailback said he was going to change his number and his name in an effort to trick the coaching staff into getting him more carries.

Roberts had only 12 rushes for 71 yards last week in Montreal.

Berry said he wanted Roberts to get more carries last night, and offensive co-ordinator Mike Gibson delivered.

Even though it appeared quarterback Kevin Glenn was having a tough time handing off the ball to Roberts all night, the two-time CFL rushing leader still pounded the ball down the Argos throat all night long.

He had five carries on a long Winnipeg drive late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. It resulted in Troy Westwood's 13-yard field goal that gave the Bombers a 16-6 lead with 10:47 remaining in the game.

Noel Prefontaine's 47-yard field goal with 5:21 left in the fourth got the Argos to within a touchdown, but the Bombers stifling defence didn't let the Argos get anywhere near its endzone the rest of the way.

The Blue and Gold defensive dozen had its second straight impressive outing and held the Argos to just 38 yards of total offence in the first half, but Winnipeg had only a 13-6 edge at the break.

The Bombers scored on their opening drive for the second week in a row, as Glenn marched the Blue and Gold on a 73-yard drive that was capped by Roberts' three-yard scamper for a score.

Prefontaine booted 25-yard and 52-yard field goals that got the Argos within one early in the second quarter, but Troy Westwood responded with 35- and 31-yard field goals that gave the Bombers their seven-point cushion again.

Argos quarterback and former Bomber pivot Spergon Wynn, starting in place of the injured Damon Allen, couldn't get anything going in his first start since 2003. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 94 yards and was sacked six times, including three by defensive tackle Ron Warner.

Glenn, meanwhile, wasn't exactly stellar, completing 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards, but he didn't have any turnovers like last week's two fourth-quarter interceptions against the Alouettes.


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