Johnson always up for biggest games

KIRK PENTON, Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

When the Bombers go searching for someone to lead the way against the Alouettes on Friday night, they should look no further than Jovon Johnson.

The cornerback/returner is an all-star week in and week out, but he really turns it up a notch against the Als.

I like to be a player who shows up in big games, Johnson said. I like the challenge. Any time I get the opportunity to make a play Im up for it.

Johnson had a punt-return touchdown a month ago in Montreal, and he did the same thing last fall, too. He also had an interception against the Alouettes last month.

The unfortunate part for the Bombers is Johnsons heroics rarely lead to victories. In the last six games against the Alouettes that quarterback Anthony Calvillo has started, the Bombers are 1-5 and have allowed an average of 37 points.

Theyre going to come in with the mentality that we should just lay down for them, but thats not going to be the case, Johnson said. Its one of those games where if youre not ready to play you could easily get blown out.

Johnson will be playing with a heavy heart against the Als, as Wednesday marked the anniversary of the death of his 15-year-old brother, who was shot and killed in Erie, Pa., two years ago.

Its one of those things Ive learned to deal with, but its also one of those things thats definitely going to be on my mind, he said.

HEFNEY WATCH: Johnson said Jonathan Hefney is interested in returning to the Bombers and believes last years East Division rookie of the year will eventually be back.

The Detroit Lions released the defensive back on Wednesday, although Bombers GM Ross Hodgkinson reported Thursday that the club is under the impression that Hefney has 10 days to clear NFL waivers.

Johnson is doing all he can to reunite Hefney with the Blue and Gold.

Im the middle guy, Johnson said. Im selling him and what he brings to this team, and Im also working with him to try to get him back. Hopefully he comes back. Well find out soon.

From me knowing Hef, I think he wants to play football. Well see. Hell probably be back.

BROTHERLY LOVE: Bomber offensive lineman Luke Fritz got a chance to watch his little brother hit the ice on Wednesday night at MTS Centre.

Mitch Fritz is in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and suited up in the NHL exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Its always awesome to see him, Luke said. His first shift was with (Simon) Gagne and (Vincent) Lecavalier. He was on there with the big guns. Its just fun to see him getting the chance to do what he loves to do.

Mitch Fritz, who is an enforcer, is expected to spend most of the season in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals, but he will be called up whenever the Lightning need some toughness.

LATE HITS: The Bombers have sold fewer than 24,000 tickets to Fridays game, so it will be blacked out locally on TSN. The contest will air in the U.S. on the NFL Network The forecast calls for cloudy conditions, a daytime high of 14 C, dropping to 8 C overnight, and 30 km/h winds out of the northeast.


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