Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

It was the clash of two polar opposite teams meeting up for the Thursday night soiree.

Winnipeg held a slim West Division lead at 6-2, while B.C. sat in the basement at 1-7 and reeling after a heartbreaking loss to Hamilton a week ago.

The Blue Bombers got the 32-16 win, but the biggest storyline becomes the health of Matt Nichols, who left the game in the fourth after being sacked. Nichols went 10-for-12 for 179 yards, a touchdown and interception and fumble before exiting.

The quarterback was brought down for the second time by Shawn Lemon, who was recently re-acquired from Toronto. Chris Streveler finished the game as Nichols went straight to the locker room favouring his shoulder.

The Bombers defence pressed the issue on B.C.’s continued offensive line struggles. A total of seven sacks, three forced fumbles and pass knockdowns, on top of an interception helped fantasy league players across the country (but not this one).

Winnipeg led 10-0 after one, as Nichols connected in the end zone with Nic Demski on the opening drive. He threw for 124 yards in the first 15 minutes, looking more in control than in their Week 9 win against Calgary.

B.C. cut the lead to four after a pair of interceptions led to a couple of field goals. They gave up just two points in the second quarter and trailed 12-6 after the first half. But things started to unravel in the third for them.

After they briefly took the lead, the Bombers made it 22-13 on a Nichols plunge. That was made possible by a Lucky Whitehead run where he grabbed a first down on a second and 19 situation.

That was the same drive Andrew Harris set the record for having the most yards gained from the line of scrimmage among Canadians in league history, passing Hall-of-Famer Ben Cahoon with 13,369 on a one-yard run. He moved into the top 10 for rushing yards earlier in the drive.

B.C. kept taking hits, as Mike Reilly was sacked for the third time. Reilly threw for 177 yards on 16-for-28 passing and a pick. That takedown was followed by a blocked Josh Bartel punt by Marcus Sayles who returned it for a touchdown stretching the lead further.

Their most productive passing play didn’t even come from a quarterback, it came from Duron Carter. Reilly flipped it to the receiver who found a wide open Lemar Durant for 56 yards. That teed up a John White score two plays later.

Janarion Grant didn’t have a lot of return opportunities but it was by the Lions design. They kicked to him just three times and he burned them once for 56 yards. He was coming off his two return touchdown game against the Stamps where he clocked over 200 yards.

A couple of Bombers defensive players stood out. Willie Jefferson grabbed a sack and an interception. Chandler Fenner tied a game-high with six tackles and Jake Thomas brought Reilly down twice.

Winnipeg is in Edmonton for Week 11 while B.C. returns home looking to exact revenge on Hamilton after their comeback win last week.

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Grant Deme
Grant Deme is a reporter and anchor in southwestern Ontario and a lifelong follower of the CFL.