Roberts proves he's still No. 1

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

Charles Roberts might want to re-think that number change.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back said earlier this week that he was going to switch from No. 1 to No. 32. The substitution didn't take place this week, but he said he still hopes to do it next week.

Wearing his familiar No. 1 last night, the 5-foot-6 tailback wracked up 133 rushing yards on a career-high 32 carries in Winnipeg's 16-9 win over the Argos.

The man they call Blink was asked after the game if he's going to stick with No. 1.

"I don't know," he said with a laugh. "Check with me next week. It worked out pretty well, but I just feel like Superman in that No. 32.

"I haven't had a chance to put it on in a long time, but I've been told 32 looks good on me, and I'm going to still try to get into it."

It sounds like Roberts will have trouble switching his digits, as a CFL official told the Sun earlier this week that Roberts will not be allowed to change his number.

Regardless, the six-year veteran and two-time CFL rushing champ showed last night that he can get it done no matter what number he's wearing.

"I'm disappointed it took me 32 carries to get 133 yards," he said. "With 30 carries, I should probably have 170, 180 minimum.

"... I hope they keep on giving me 30 carries, because eventually I'll get the yardage up, too."

Last night's game was billed as Charles vs. Ricky Williams, but the Miami Dolphins running back had just 14 yards on eight carries for the Argos against the stifling Bomber defence.

"I wanted to see him play," said Roberts. "I hope he wanted to see me play, to see what the little guy was all about, and I hope I showed him that I was a high-calibre running back."

NO OMAR, NO PROBLEM: The Bombers allowed just 72 yards of total offence last night, which is amazing considering it surrendered the most yards in CFL history last season.

Winnipeg accomplished the feat even without CB Omar Evans, who missed the second half with leg cramps. Evans was replaced by Gabriel Fulbright, who was making his CFL debut.

"Fulbright and (Stanford) Samuels, they stepped up and did a great job, a hell of a job," said Evans. "We expect that from Fulbright, and we expect that from Samuels.

"All we do is plateau. There ain't no falloff."

QUOTABLE: "Did he hit three? I don't know. I'm kinda dizzy. Those 32 carries got me a little light-headed."

-- Roberts, asking reporters how many field goals Troy Westwood kicked last night.

LATE HITS: The Kyries Hebert arbitration case that was supposed to begin Tuesday in Winnipeg has been postponed ... LB Ike Charlton led the Bombers with four tackles last night, including two for a loss ... The Argos scratched KR Bashir Levingston and let former Bomber Keith Stokes return kicks and punts. Stokes' longest play was a 29-yard kick return.


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