Just plain awful

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 11:57 AM ET

REGINA -- Can't tackle, can't cover, can't pass, what do ya do?

Lose. Badly.

In Winnipeg's biggest defensive collapse of the season, the Blue Bombers simply had no answer for whoever was carrying the ball for Saskatchewan last night. Or at least no clue how to wrap him up.

Roughriders 39 Bombers 12

The Roughriders romped to a 28-12 halftime lead, then coasted to a 39-12 whipping of Winnipeg in the 40th Labour Day Classic before 30,900 raucous fans, the seventh-largest crowd in Roughrider history.

The defence, which had been the Bombers backbone, had no help from the offence, either -- even with the return of starting quarterback Kevin Glenn and slotback Milt Stegall, who had missed three games with injuries.

Glenn was terrible, completing 12 of 29 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.

The two teams meet again in Winnipeg next Sunday in the third annual Banjo Bowl.

Winnipeg, which has now lost four consecutive games, drops to 5-6, remaining in at least a temporary second-place tie with Toronto in the CFL East. They now must be wary of Edmonton (3-6) in the hunt for the crossover playoff spot.

The Argos (5-5) play Hamilton (2-9) today. Saskatchewan improves to 6-5 and at least a temporary tie for second with Calgary (6-4) in the West. The Stampeders host Edmonton today.

In the fourth quarter, backup Saskatchewan tailback Shermar Bracey scored a six-yard touchdown to increase the Roughrider lead to 39-12.

In the third quarter, Saskatchewan kicker Luca Congi booted a 22-yard field goal and added a 52-yard punt single.

The Roughies had built a 28-12 halftime lead, thanks to some great running by the Saskatchewan side and sloppy tackling on the Winnipeg side.

In the first half alone, the Roughies rushed for a combined 109 yards as opposed to Winnipeg's 39.

Saskatchewan punctuated its dominance of the first half by driving 71 yards in 17 seconds, with tailback Kenton Keith scoring a touchdown on 31-yard shovel pass with 31 ticks left on the clock.

The Keith score responded to Winnipeg's only major. Glenn completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Stegall, leaving the veteran three TDs short of tying the all-time CFL mark.

With a Troy Westwood single off the ensuing kickoff, that had pulled Winnipeg to within 21-12. But the Keith TD took whatever wind Winnipeg had out of its sails.

Saskatchewan had run the Bombers ragged in the first quarter, with Keith and starting quarterback Kerry Joseph doing most of the damage.

The Roughies took advantage of a roughing-the-passer infraction on Winnipeg defensive end Tom Canada and a pass interference call on safety Kyries Hebert to move the ball 75 yards in seven plays, capped off by Joseph's one-yard dive.

After Westwood's 37-yard field goal, Saskatchewan moved the ball 75 yards with Joseph scrambling for a 10-yard touchdown on its very next drive, taking a 14-4 lead.

In the second quarter, Joseph found wide-open wide receiver Corey Grant behind defensive back Kelly Malveaux to score a 42-yard touchdown. That gave Saskatchewan a 21-4 lead.

Westwood also punted a 76-yard single.

Bombers CB Omar Evans was ejected for rough play in the last minute.


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