Blue still hungry

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:47 PM ET

Even in his best game as a Blue Bomber, Chris Davis was overshadowed by a teammate with a more productive outing.

But the receiver’s unique celebration after scoring his first touchdown as a Bomber put the second half of Winnipeg’s season into perspective.

Davis pulled out a piece of paper, tucked it into his collar like a napkin and pretended to eat a meal with a knife and fork.

“It was my bib,” he explained. “I just put it there before I ate. My main message behind that is, we’re still hungry. We’ve still got much more food on the plate.”

The Bombers were starving for a victory during a five-game losing streak and were unstoppable at the Banjo Bowl trough as they shellacked the Saskatchewan Roughriders 31-2 in Sunday’s CFL contest.

In the fourth quarter, Davis caught a 40-yard TD toss from Winnipeg quarterback Steven Jyles, who spread the ball around.

“It felt great to finally get into the endzone,” said Davis, 26. “It doesn’t come too often, man. During the week, you work really hard to get into the endzone and when you finally do it, it’s finally like lifting a few weights off your shoulder. But we still have a lot of games left.”

Davis led all receivers with six receptions for 88 yards, many of them clutch catches up the middle. But he was overshadowed by tailback Fred Reid, who rushed for 148 yards on 17 carries.

“It felt good, I had a nice little breakout game,” said the former Hamilton Tiger-Cat. “Any time my number is called, I take it upon myself try to do my best to make the play for the team. For me, it’s not about personal accolades. I’m cool being the man or not being the man, as long as we’re having success and doing the things we’re supposed to.”

His performance was just one example of how the entire team stepped up to stop its slump.

“It was just the fact that we pushed forth with the extra effort to finally go ahead and give all that we have,” Davis said. “I’m not saying that we didn’t before but things just happened to fall our way. We made plays on offence, defence and special teams, and when you can get plays in all three phases of the game, it’s really hard to beat.”

TONE-SETTER: Defensive back Jovon Johnson, who set the tone with a crunching tackle on Saskatchewan receiver Chris Getzlaf early in the game, concurred.

“It was definitely our most complete game,” he said. “Whenever you can come in and shut out a team like Saskatchewan Roughriders, you’ve got to feel good about it.

“We knew coming in that they were going to be a good team and they beat us last week, and we felt that, if we could be physical with their receivers and with everybody on the field, we’d have a better chance of winning.”

ALERT PLAY: After Winnipeg scored its first touchdown, defensive back Brandon Stewart recovered the ensuing kickoff that was untouched by a Rider at the Saskatchewan 31.

“That’s just what I do,” Stewart said. “I come to work. I run down the field, work hard and I do what the coach asks me to do.”

That set up a 38-yard field goal that gave Winnipeg a 10-0 lead.

TWIN NIGHTMARES: Once again, Bomber defensive ends Phillip Hunt and Odell Willis gave Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant nightmares.

“Your backs are against the wall and when you’re 2-7, you have to come out with more intensity than you had the game before,” said Hunt, who had a defensive tackle and quarterback sack. “So, we just took that in stride and came out with a lot more intensity. We really wanted to win this game and the proof is in the pudding.”

Johnson, for one, credited the pressure for holding the Saskatchewan passing attack to just 168 yards.

“When those guys are coming off the edge the way they do, it certainly makes things a lot easier and we appreciate it,” he said.

HASHMARKS: Backup safety Brady Browne had his right foot in a walking boot after the game and will have it x-rayed Monday … Both RB Fred Reid and DE Odell Willis played despite suffering from the flu last week.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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