Denmark, Leggett Assist Blue Bombers Stop Roughriders’ winning streak

Maurice Leggett has at least three reasons to always remember the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ 48-28 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.

The veteran linebacker returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown, grabbed an interception and ran 54 yards for a score and had a particular family member watching one of the sold-out audience of 33,134 in Investors Group Field.

“This is a excellent game to remember,” Leggett said. “This is the first game my mother’s really seen me play in Canada.”

The 30-year-old Pennsylvania native is in his fourth CFL season, all with Winnipeg, but also has 22 games with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs on his football resume.

The victory halted Saskatchewan’s three-game win series, evening its record to 5-5 while Winnipeg moves to 8-3 in the aggressive CFL West Division.

Leggett’s performance was respected by teammate Clarence Denmark, who listed his own set of TDs with catches of 12 and 18 yards from quarterback Matt Nichols.

“Moe, guy, he is an amazing, amazing athlete,” Denmark said of Leggett. “I am glad he is on our side{}”

Denmark currently has six TDs this year, including another set in a win against Montreal two games ago.

Leggett’s interception of a Kevin Glenn pass gave Winnipeg a 37-20 lead midway through the third quarter.

Things would soon get worse for Glenn, who suffered an injury to his throwing hand during his team’s next series. He was replaced by Toronto-born pivot Brandon Bridge.

Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones did not have an update on how severe the injury was to the 17-year veteran, who had been directing the club from an early-season hole.

“If your starting quarterback is not there, it is concerning for everyone,” Jones said. “It is a concern, undoubtedly.”

Winnipeg’s scoring also contained backup quarterback Dan LeFevour diving into a one-yard receiver and major Ryan Lankford grabbing a 23-yard TD reception. Kicker Justin Medlock went wide on a 48-yard field-goal effort, but hit one from 36 yards out. He made all six of his converts and additional singles of 84, 85 and 90 yards.

Saskatchewan also had some explosive plays in the rematch that didn’t follow up on the Riders’ 38-24 victory in last weekend’s Labour Day Classic.

The Riders put a set of extended catch-and-run touchdowns, an 88-yarder by Duron Carter and a 75-yard reception from Naaman Roosevelt.

Saskatchewan got a one-yard TD run from Winnipeg native Kienan LaFrance, who was replacing injured running back Cameron Marshall. Bridge sprinted 10 yards for a score, leaping over the goal-line.

Riders kicker Tyler Crapigna was great on two converts. A two-point convert attempt on Roosevelt’s TD failed, but was great on Bridge’s score.

Nichols finished 24 of 37 pass attempts for 282 yards with three TDs and no interceptions. Glenn was 15 of 22 for 327 yards with two TDs and two picks while Bridge was 4 of 8 for 67 yards and an interception.

Bridge, a 25-year-old in his fourth CFL season, was intercepted by cornerback Chris Randle with under five minutes left in the match.

“Shouldn’t have thrown that pick, but besides that I thought I did quite decent for the situation I went for,” said Bridge, who is in his third year with the Riders.

The victory also gave the Bombers a 2-1 season-series triumph over the Riders.

Winnipeg’s 16 points is 1 point behind division-leader Calgary and two up on Edmonton, but the Eskimos sponsor the Stampeders in Saturday’s late match. Winnipeg heads into its bye week.

The teams were tied 7-7 after the first quarter, but Winnipeg held leads of 29-20 at halftime and 38-28 following three quarters.

Following his TD, Carter and many teammates did a dance on Winnipeg’s goal-line. In Saskatchewan’s home win last weekend, Carter celebrated a TD with fans across the rear wall of the end zone and was spit on by a Bombers fan. He said before the rematch he was going to prevent the end zones at Investors Group Field.

Bombers receiver Weston Dressler’s three catches for 56 yards raised him to the CFL’s Top 25 all-time list for receiving yards. He has 651 receptions for 9,262 yards, moving him past Jim Young (9,248).

Notes: The CFL announced next year’s CFL Week will be held in Winnipeg from March 22-25. The event features the league’s mix, a Hall of Fame gala dinner to announce inductees and numerous fan actions.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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