Reid's return boosts special teams

KIRK PENTON and JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

The longest kickoff return the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had managed this season was 37 yards.

Fred Reid blew that mark out of the water yesterday and just might have become the team's new kickoff returner.

The CFL rookie returned the second half's opening kickoff 63 yards to Saskatchewan's 35-yard line, and it led to Charles Roberts' third rushing touchdown of the day.

"That felt good," Reid said. "I just couldn't wait to get my hands on the ball and make something happen.

"I felt good after that. It's a big confidence booster."

Reid also had a 23-yard kickoff return, as did Albert Johnson III, who may now return only punts.

Reid's impressive performance was part of a stellar showing by the much-maligned Bomber special teams, which gave the team excellent field position all day long and even converted a fake field goal.

"I'm thrilled the way our special teams played," head coach Doug Berry said. "We had some shakeups there. We changed our blockers, we changed our cover guys ... hoping to get some life and invigoration going with those guys."

RECORD PACE: Bomber tailback Charles Roberts has 9,006 rushing yards in his career, just 16 shy of Normie Kwong for sixth on the all-time list.

Not only that, but the Bombers all-time leading rusher, who was honoured before yesterday's game for breaking Leo Lewis' club mark, has 12 touchdowns this season. Mike Pringle owns the single-season record with 19.

"I didn't know that," Roberts said. "I'm looking for Milt (Stegall's) touchdown record (of 23 in a season)."

Roberts, with 903 yards, also regained the league rushing lead.

BOUNCING BACK: Defensive tackle Jerome Haywood rebounded from his worst game as a Bomber in Regina last week.

"I had something to prove to myself, and I'm extremely happy about my performance -- a couple of sacks, a couple of pressures," said Haywood, who had two sacks and three tackles. "It was great, man."

Haywood was a key cog in a suffocating defence yesterday. "It was just all about kicking ass," he said.

RETURN OF KHAN: Obby Khan finally started at centre for the first time in 10 games.

"I'm tired," he said. "I'm exhausted, but it felt good to get back in there and smash your head against someone ... I'm looking forward to getting in there next week and just keep getting better."

REVENGE: The Bomber defence made amends for the last-minute loss to Saskatchewan last week on defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall's 51st birthday.

"That was big for us, especially after the sting of last week," said defensive end Tom Canada. "Everyone was really motivated, and the offence was just awesome. We had a couple of wrinkles on special teams, and it was a complete game.

"Happy Birthday, coach."

LATE HITS: Kevin Glenn moved past Don Jonas and into fifth place on the Bombers' all-time passing yards list with 12,373 ... Saskatchewan's Matt Dominguez topped all receivers with six catches for 118 yards and now leads the CFL -- by one yard over Milt Stegall -- with 761, but he suffered a left knee injury in the fourth quarter... The Bombers' Banjo Bowl win means the Winnipeg United Way receives $10,000.


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