Pressure's on Serna

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Alexis Serna is getting another shot, and this time the pressure will really be on.

Bombers head coach Doug Berry indicated yesterday that the struggling rookie will do both the placekicking and punting when the Bombers (2-6) battle the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-2) on Sunday at sold-out Mosaic Stadium in the 42nd Labour Day Classic.

Serna spent the bye week with his kicking coach in California, and it appears to have paid off, as he made 10 of 12 field goal attempts over the last two days of practice.

"That's exactly what we want, 82%," Berry said. "That's (great). And he made every one outside of 40."

Canadian kicker Warren Kean boomed some punts yesterday, but his field goal kicking isn't good enough to warrant a start, Berry said. The third kicker in camp, import Mark Myers, ranks third in both placekicking and punting, according to the coach.

To make the kicking situation even more interesting, receiver Arjei Franklin will be the holder on Sunday for the first time in his career. Regular pin man Jamie Stoddard is out with a leg injury.

"I'm not worried about it," Franklin said. "I've taken a lot of reps, and basically when you get there it's no different than what you do in practice. There's just a crowd around you.

"So you just gotta block them out, focus on that ball and put it down."

Berry has all the confidence in the world in Franklin.

"Arjei has great hands, and we've worked him extensively in holding," he said. "He'll be good. Not even an issue."

EYES ON THE BALL: The receivers brought out an odd-looking, coloured ball for an unusual drill at the end of practice yesterday.

The ball not only had different colours at one point, but also numbers and letters, designed to help players focus on the point when they catch it.

In the drill, receivers coach Bob Dyce would call for them to focus on a specific colour, number or letter.

"You actually have to focus in on it and you tell him what he wants you to tell him," Milt Stegall said. "Most of the time when you drop the ball, you're trying to catch the ball with your hands. You catch the ball with your eyes."

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: Winnipeg's Charles Roberts needs 61 yards to become the fifth player in the CFL history -- and the fourth tailback behind Mike Pringle, George Reed and Johnny Bright -- to reach 10,000 rushing yards. Quarterback Damon Allen is third overall. Incorrect information appeared in yesterday's Sun.

HAIRY HOMECOMING: Brendon LaBatte is still trying to figure out his ticket situation for Sunday's clash.

The rookie offensive lineman hails from Weyburn, Sask., and played at the University of Regina, so ticket requests from friends and family have been coming fast and furious.

"I'm still working on getting them sorted out officially," LaBatte said. "I know quite a few people from back home are going to make it into the game, and I got quite a few friends from Regina that are going to be there.

"So it's going to be pretty cool."

LATE HITS: Wide receiver Derick Armstrong (calf) sat out practice for the second straight day. His status will be determined today, but it's expected he'll get the green light ... If Armstrong can play, the Bombers will likely make two roster changes: fullback Brian Guebert for Stoddard, and slotback Terrence Edwards for cornerback Stanford Samuels ... In an effort to get everyone tucked into bed safely, Tourism Regina and SGI have put together a Safe Ride program for football fans in the Queen City this weekend. Free shuttle buses will transport fans from four hotels (tonight and tomorrow) and Mosaic Stadium (Sunday) to the strip of bars on Dewdney Avenue every half hour.


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