August 8, 2019

Quick Hits | CGY 24 WPG 26

5 Quick Takes on the Bombers 26-24 win over Calgary Thursday night at IG Field:

1.  It was billed as a first-place showdown and as a rematch of the West Final… and it came exactly as advertised.

The Bombers and Stamps served up a dandy in front of 25,354 on a perfect night in south Winnipeg, with the home side emerging with a massive ‘W’ over their division rivals. In the process, they not only improved to 6-2 for sole possession of first place in the West, they stopped the bleeding of a two-game losing streak that had given voice to so many doubters.

The win was the Bombers seventh straight at home dating back to last year, tying the longest win streak at home since 2002-03. More importantly, with these two teams meeting three times this year – twice in back-to-back weeks in October – it gave the Bombers an early advantage in the season series.

2. The game marked the Bombers debut of four players – WR/KR Janarion Grant, DB Mercy Maston, WR Malcolm Williams and LB Korey Jones, but none was bigger than that of Grant.

The former Rutgers star, who had a stint with the Baltimore Ravens and was in training camp with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this year, returned two punts for touchdowns in the first half – covering 76 and 83 yards – and became just the eighth player in CFL history to accomplish that feat, and the first-ever Bomber. Grant finished the night with 306 combined yards on punt and kickoff returns, 222 yards on seven punt returns and 84 yards on four kickoff returns.

3. Matt Nichols finished the game 18-of-22 for 177 yards and no TDs or interceptions. Calgary’s Nick Arbuckle, meanwhile, rushed for two TDs and threw for another, finishing 22-of-35 for 250 yards with two interceptions.

4. Some other notable numbers for the Bombers:

  • Andrew Harris had 100 yards rushing on 19 carries and also pulled in eight passes for 44 yards
  • Marcus Sayles had a key interception in the end zone in the dying moments of the first half to take points off the board for the Stamps and finished with eight tackles and a sack
  • Justin Medlock connected on a 55-yard field goal, his longest of the season and longest since a 57-yarder in 2017
  • The Bombers also got some solid work by their kick-cover units. Rookie Nick Hallett recovered a fumble by Calgary’s Terry Williams in the fourth quarter on the Stampeder 18-yard line that set up a short field goal

5. Thursday’s game was the first of back-to-back home dates for the Bombers, who will next welcome the B.C. Lions to IG Field on August 15th. It’s part of a five-game run against West Division rivals with the two home games followed by visits to Edmonton and Regina for the Labour Day Classic, and then the Banjo Bowl.
The club will then enjoy the second of its three bye weeks this season.