Photo by Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.ca

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers punished the Edmonton Eskimos on the ground more-so than any other team this year. The Esks allowed a season-high 189 rushing yards and two scores along the ground en route to a 34-28 loss.

Turnovers reared their ugly head in the opening quarter.

An Andrew Harris fumble in the red zone gave the ball back to Edmonton following a strip-sack from Willie Jefferson. The veteran defensive end had a banner night, finishing with three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Trevor Harris was soon intercepted on the ensuing drive when a tipped ball fell into the hands of rookie defensive back Marcus Rios. The UCLA product took the ball all the way to the end zone, giving Winnipeg an early 10-3 lead.

DaVaris Daniels did some damage against the Bombers’ secondary, logging three receptions of over 30 yards in the first half alone. The veteran receiver would top his 155-yard performance from last week with 207 yards on ten receptions.

The Bombers extended their lead after a 30-yard Chris Streveler run set the table for a Harris touchdown. Streveler was under the gun a few times in the game and was sacked three times. Those takedowns extended the Eskimos league-leading sack total to 33.

Streveler completed just 7-for-17 pass attempts for 89 yards, though he rushed for game-high 95 yards on 14 carries.

Meanwhile, Edmonton’s run game started slowly. C.J. Gable had just one yard on his first six carries before a season-high 34-yarder juiced the numbers in the second quarter.

But much like in their Week 3 meeting, the Eskimos had to settle for field goals from veteran Sean Whyte. Despite 227 yards of offence, Edmonton trailed 20-9 at halftime.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter before a lively final period.

Streveler had just five completions heading into the fourth quarter and more rushing yards than passing yards (73 to 64).

Trevor Harris had a 27-yard run, which was followed up by a 27-yard completion to C.J. Gable. But Edmonton’s red zone woes persisted and the drive ended in just three points.

Harris wrapped up his night throwing 430 yards on 26-for-40 throwing with a major and a pick. The yardage moved him into 30th all-time in CFL career passing yards.

Mike O’Shea lost his club’s final timeout on a failed challenge when he contested a Greg Ellingson reception early in the fourth quarter.

But the ruling didn’t shake Winnipeg’s defence, as another drive was shut down at the 16-yard line. It led to Whyte’s sixth field goal of the evening, all of which were under 30 yards. He secured each of his team’s 18 initial points.

Edmonton had forced Winnipeg into a third-down on the ensuing drive when Monshadrik ‘Money’ Hunter took an objectionable conduct penalty for pushing an official. Vontae Diggs was charged with unnecessary roughness on the same play for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chris Streveler.

The penalties combined for 25 yards and gave Winnipeg a first down on Edmonton’s ten-yard line. Two plays later, Streveler scored a touchdown from six yards out, growing his team’s lead to 12 with a little over two minutes to play.

Harris found Tevaun Smith for 75-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive, making the score 30-25 with 1:08 to go.

But there was no repeat of the comeback victory Montreal Alouettes accomplished a week ago, as Jefferson recovered the onside kick and Justin Medlock iced the game with a 50-yard field goal.

Whyte would boot a meaningless 48-yard field goal on the game’s final play, making the final score 34-28.

Winnipeg (8-2) is in Saskatchewan next week while Edmonton (6-4) is traveling south for a tilt with Calgary (5-4).

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