CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers roll over Toronto Argonauts for 2nd week running

WINNIPEG – Nic Demski scored touchdowns through the air and on the ground as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers completed their back-to-back sweep of the Toronto Argonauts with a convincing 40 to 14 victory on Friday night. Winnipeg QB Matt Nichols threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns as the Bombers moved above .500 for the first time this season.

After a big win over the Argos in week 6 in Toronto, the Blue Bombers picked up right where they left off in this oneJustin Medlock opened the scoring on Winnipeg’s first drive, and the Bomber defence brought the pressure early, with Jovan Santos-Knox bringing James Franklin down on Toronto’s opening possession.

The Bombers continued rolling on their next possession, employing some trickery with a direct snap to slotback Darvin Adams, who found QB Chris Streveler open in the flats for his first career CFL catch. After an unnecessary roughness call in the Toronto secondary, Nichols unloaded his cannon, launching a picture-perfect strike into the hands of Nic Demski for the game’s first major.

Franklin and the Argos showed some life following the touchdown, stringing together a couple of first downs towards midfield. But a big completion to WR Rodney Smith which would have moved the Argos into the red zone went south when Bomber DB Brandon Alexander stripped the ball and regained possession for Winnipeg.

Nichols almost had his second touchdown toss of the first quarter on another deep ball, this one to Kenbrell Thompkins, but the receiver couldn’t outpace the Toronto secondary and was brought down just shy of the end zone. The Argos defence stood tall and held the Bombers to a field goal, but still trailed by 13.

The second quarter seemed to bring new life to the Argonauts offence. Franklin and the offence leaned on their run game on a seven-play drive, punctuated by 2018 Grey Cup MVP James Wilder Jr. punching his way through a pile of bodies on the goal line for Toronto’s first touchdown of the night.

Nichols showed his first signs of weakness on the evening as an errant throw was snapped up by Argos DB TJ Heath, as the visitors continued to turn the tables after a lopsided first quarter. A punt single from Ronnie Pfeffer cut the Bombers lead to eight.

The Bombers again would capitalize on a lack of discipline from the Argonauts on their next drive. After a 27-yard pass interference call was unsuccessfully appealed by Argos HC Marc Trestman, Winnipeg needed just one play before making them pay. Demski took the ball on an end-around run, slicing his way through Argos defenders before leaping into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night.

The two quarterbacks finished the half with similar passing numbers, but wildly different results as the game started to feel like a replay of the previous matchup.

The second half started on a sour note for the Argos, as Franklin’s first pass attempt was picked off by DB Chris Randle.

Toronto looked to be snatching some momentum back after a two-and-out from the Bombers, embarking on another long drive deep into Bomber territory. Again their success came when they leaned on their running backs, with Wilder Jr. anMartese Jackson accounting for 55 of the 66 yards on the drive.

Feeling like his team needed more than three points, Trestman opted to go for it on third and one, but Franklin’s sneak fell just short and the Argonauts failed to cut into the Bombers lead.

The Blue Bombers would manage another field goal from Medlock as time expired in the third, extending their lead to 18 heading into the final frame.

The home team continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, as the Argos defence had no answer for Nichols and the Bombers offence. Demski added to his yardage totals with a couple more catches and Nichols threw his second touchdown of the evening, this time to receiver Drew Wilotarsky.

Winnipeg’s special teams got in on the fun late in the fourth, as Ronnie Pfeffer’s punt was blocked and scooped up  by Ian Wild, who had a clear path to the end zone.

James Franklin scored a consolation touchdown for the Argonauts with just a few minutes remaining in the fourth on a one-yard sneak, and Santos-Knox added his third sack of the game on the unsuccessful two-point conversion.

Next week the Argonauts return home to BMO Field to take on the East Division leading REDBLACKS, while the Bombers head into a bye week before squaring off against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in week 9..

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