Moton Hopkins was a man on a mission and his Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ teammates took notice.
Hopkins, making just his second start on the defensive line in place of thea injured Dorian Smith, came up with a 36-yard touchdown at 4:04 of the first quarter, sparking the Blue Bombers to a 47-21 romp over the Edmonton Eskimos.
Odell Willis knocked the ball out of the hands of Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray and Hopkins took care of the rest.
“Any time you can score on defence, it’s a huge momentum swing,” said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice.
Hopkins, who played his college ball at Tulsa, added a sack and three tackles in his most effective game as a pro.
“That was just a spark out there,” said Blue Bombers offensive tackle Kelly Butler. “He’s a phenomenal player, he works extremely hard at practice. He gives us a great look on defence, and he works his heart out.
“Being at the right place at the right time and getting out there and getting a spark for the offence and the defence was pretty good. He played pretty well and he got a sack in the next series, so he played a great game. The whole defence made plays at crucial times.”
Hopkins was showered with praise after the game.
“(Hopkins) did what he had to do and he played hard. I congratulate him and I give him props,” said Blue Bombers middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn.
Defensive back Jovon Johnson was also happy for Hopkins, but figures the secondary deserves at least part of the credit for the interception.
“For us in the secondary, we love to see it, especially when we get pressure like that up front,” said Johnson. “It makes our jobs easier. To see him get a touchdown out there, we count that as a secondary interception because it’s just like a coverage sack.”
— With files from Kirk Penton