'Sibling' shut down

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

Round 1 goes to Jonathan Hefney.

The Bomber defensive back played against Eskimos running back Arkee Whitlock for the first time on Friday night.

Whitlock moved in with Hefney's family when they were teenagers in Rock Hill, S.C., and the de facto siblings played on the same high school squad before going their separate ways upon graduation.

Their first head-to-head meeting was a chatty affair, according to Hefney.

"We talked to him the whole game -- me, Jovon (Johnson) and Lenny (Walls) -- because he came and ate with us before the game," Hefney said. "I know how he competes, so I knew if he was to get going, he was going to go.

"So we just talked to him the whole game and just stayed in his head. It kind of worked. It motivated us a lot, too."

Whitlock struck first blood, however, when he rattled off a 60-yard run in the first quarter that set up an Edmonton touchdown.

"I was trying to fill in the hole, and he just squeezed out of there," Hefney said. "That was traffic. I don't know how he got out of it, but he's been doing that for a while. I've been watching him run like that for a while."

Whitlock didn't do much damage the rest of the way, finishing with 90 yards on 12 carries. Hefney, meanwhile, had seven tackles, an interception and a key block on Jovon Johnson's 118-yard missed field goal return touchdown that turned the tide for the Bombers.

The rookie out of Tennessee earned TSN's Gladiator award, which got him a brand new watch, but more importantly he got the win.

"If we would've stopped him on that one big run, he wouldn't have got nothing," Hefney said. "So I was pretty excited. I'm proud of myself."

INJURY UPDATE: Defensive end Gavin Walls (knee) and Joe Lobendhan (hamstring) suffered hurts during Friday's contest, but they're not expected to miss the Hamilton game on Thanksgiving Monday.

Linebacker Ike Charlton cramped up towards the end of the game, but he's fine.

Meanwhile, slotback Terrence Edwards (concussion) is expected to return to the Bomber lineup for the critical clash with the Tabbies. Edwards has missed two games, but the time off has enabled his turf toe injury to heal a bit.

AND WE QUOTE: "There's a whole bunch of teams that are right there together, and I've said all along it's going to be the team out of this group that continues to show improvement that'll bring itself out of the ashes, so to speak. We've shown some improvement over the last couple of weeks. And if we can keep doing that, then we have a chance."

-- Mike Kelly, on the five teams within four points of each other (Saskatchewan, B.C., Hamilton, Edmonton and Winnipeg) competing for four playoff spots.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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