The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are heading into the bye week with a little redemption.

Matt Nichols threw three touchdown passes and Maurice Leggett had a pick-six and a punt return major as Winnipeg defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 48-28 in front of 33,134 football fans Saturday afternoon at Investors Group Field.

It was a huge bounce back game for the Blue Bombers who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end when they lost the Labour Day Classic 38-24 to the Riders last Sunday in Regina.

Clarence Denmark got the ball rolling as he caught a pair of first half touchdown passes from Nichols.

"I felt like from the beginning we had the edge," said Denmark who now has six touchdown catches on the season. "We made up our minds early that we were going to come out and play. We wanted to respond for our team, our fans, this whole city – just to show what type of team we are and I think we did that."

Ryan Lankford caught the other Nichols touchdown pass and Dan Lefevour scored on a quarterback sneak with five seconds left in the first half.

As for Leggett - the Bombers linebacker returned Josh Bartel's 45-yard punt 97 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and then in the third quarter picked off a Kevin Glenn pass and went 54 yards for a major.

"He's a game-changer," said Nichols when asked about Leggett's contribution. "He's a playmaker and he's a team leader. His presence makes us a better team and he showed that again today. He did it all year last year and I felt like he's been playing some good football when he's been healthy. It's amazing what he can do and he definitely gets the guys fired up."

The Winnipeg defense got burned a couple of times during the Labour Day Classic and again in the Banjo Bowl.

Twice the Riders offense came on the field and needed just one play to find the Winnipeg end zone.

Glenn hooked up with Duron Carter on an 88-yard catch and run which tied the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter and also found Naaman Roosevelt with a 75-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter.

"You have a great receiving corps just like them, it's always going to be tough," said Leggett. "This is the CFL and they made plays. They're great receivers and then you have a great quarterback out there, it's very tough. We just had to strap up our chin strap and go to work."

Glenn left the game with 4:07 left in the third quarter with what is believed to be an injury to his throwing hand.

Winnipeg native Kienan LaFrance and backup quarterback Brandon Bridge had rushing touchdowns for the Riders.

The Blue Bombers head into the bye week with an 8-3 record.

"They've been grinding for 11 straight weeks here," said Winnipeg head coach Mike O'Shea. "They deserve a break. They've done really well. They've just worked so bloody hard to get to this point. They need to go and get their mind off football, visit with their families, have some fun and get refreshed so when they come back, we can grind for another bunch of games."

The Blue Bombers next game is Friday, September 22nd at home against the Grey Cup champion Ottawa Redblacks.

photos courtesy Merle Peters

More Local Sports

Playoff Preview - Round 2: Pistons vs Blues

The Steinbach Pistons swept through the opening round while the Winnipeg Blues needed 6 games to dispatch the defending MJHL champions and now the two will lock horns starting Friday night in…

Aces Continue First Period Dominance

The Ste. Anne Aces scored four unanswered first period goals en route to a 7-4 home ice victory over the Grunthal Red Wings Wednesday night. Keith Grondin had two goals and an assist for the…

Mudbugs Make It Three Straight over Hawks

The Red River Mudbugs need just one more win to capture their first Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League championship. Tristen Dueck and Troy Lehmann scored two goals each as Red River defeated the…

Atom A Millers Win Eastman Minor Hockey League

The Atom A Millers captured the Eastman Minor Hockey league banner. The Millers went through the regular season undefeated but ran into a tough Niverville team in the finals. This was a rematch from…

Selects Give Up Two in 10 and Drop Game One

In the blink of an eye the Eastman Selects saw game one of the Manitoba Female AAA Midget Hockey League's best-of-five final slip away. Hannah Petrie scored a power play goal at 12:50 of the middle…

National Champions for the First Time

Head coach Jon Rempel had four goals for his hockey team this season. Finish first, qualify for Nationals, win Canada West and win a National Championship. The University of Manitoba completed the…

Learning to Play the Great Game of Hockey

Over 100 enthusiastic hockey players ranging from five to eight years of age took to the ice this past weekend in Lorette for the Perimeter Female Hockey Alliance’s Championship Tournament. The six…

Novice A Millers Capture Gold At Spring Classic

The Steinbach Millers Novice A team won gold during the Novice Spring Classic Tournament held in Steinbach over the weekend. The host team had four games in the round robin, defeating Niverville,…

Aces Roll in Game Three

The Ste. Anne Aces scored six first period goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the Red Wings in Grunthal Sunday night. Dylan Kelly had a goal and two assists for the defending Carillon Senior Hockey…

Mudbugs Score Six Unanswered in Game Two Win

Home ice was a definite advantage for the Red River Mudbugs this past weekend. The Mudbugs, who beat St. Adolphe 5-1 on Friday night, defeated the Hawks 7-2 Sunday afternoon in St. Jean and now lead… is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Thursday, March 22nd

Carillon Senior Hockey League
Grunthal 7 Ste. Anne 6 (OT)
(Aces lead best of 7 final 3-2)

Eastman 2 Pembina Valley 0
(best of 5 final tied 1-1)

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Wpg Wild 2 Brandon 0
(1st game in best of 5 final)

Selkirk 5 St. Malo 3
(Warriors lead best of 7 semifinal 3-2)

Manitoba 4 Stockton 1

Tampa Bay 7 N.Y. Islanders 6
Carolina 6 Arizona 5
Philadelphia 4 N.Y. Rangers 3
Columbus 4 Florida 0
Edmonton 6 Ottawa 2
Washington 1 Detroit 0
Toronto 5 Nashville 2
Vancouver 5 Chicago 2
Los Angeles 7 Colorado 1
San Jose 2 Vegas 1 (OT)

Charlotte 140 Memphis 79
Philadelphia 118 Orlando 98
Houston 100 Detroit 96 (OT)
New Orleans 128 L.A. Lakers 125
Utah 119 Dallas 112
Sacramento 105 Atlanta 90

Friday, March 23rd

Wpg Blues at Steinbach, 7:30 p.m.
Winkler at Virden, 7:30 p.m.
(1st games in best of 7 semifinals)

Eastern Conference
Brandon at Medicine Hat, 8:30 p.m.
(1st game in best of 7 quarterfinal)

Montreal at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
New Jersey at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.
Anaheim at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Boston at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

Denver at Washington, 6 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Indiana, 6 p.m.
Brooklyn at Toronto, 6:30 p.m.
Minnesota at New York, 6:30 p.m.
Phoenix at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.
Miami at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
Milwaukee at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Utah at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Boston at Portland, 9 p.m.
Atlanta at Golden State, 9:30 p.m.

Search the Biz Guide

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Cancer Care. 8 Week Program

05 March 2018 6:00 pm - 07 May 2018 6:00 pm

Bethesda Hospital Crocus Room

Bethesda Hospital Book Sale

23 March 2018 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Clearspring Mall

Child Evangelism Fellowship of Manitoba Banquet - Celebrating 80 years!

23 March 2018 5:00 pm

Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach

Soft Taco and Home made Chicken Noodle Soup Fundraiser.

23 March 2018 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Mitchell Senior Community Center @ 130 Ash Street, Mitchell