Winnipeg Blue Bombers down Saskatchewan in Tuesday night pre-season action

REGINA — A prairie rivalry was the pre-season showcase on Tuesday night.

With many of the projected starters sidelined for both teams in this match up, it was an opportunity for the new faces to make an impression.

Despite a late push by the Riders, the Blue Bombers came out on top with a final score of 25-16.

Dakota Prukop went 7/12 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Newcomers to the Blue and Gold receiving corps Mister Philyor and Tavaris Harrison each found the end zone. Dru Brown had a rushing major to round out the Bomber’s scoring.

Three Rider quarterbacks took snaps with both Mason Fine and Jake Dolegala logging touchdowns. Fine threw 13/18 for 114 yards and a touchdown while Dolegala went 6/10 for 70 yards and a major.

Saskatchewan RB fighting for yards. Photo: Riderville

» Boxscore: Riders, Bombers by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Bombers at Riders
» View: 2022 CFL Schedule

It was a defensive battle in the first half as each team came close to finding the end zone but weren’t able to convert on a touchdown.

Dru Brown started under center for the defending Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers and moved his team down the field into Saskatchewan territory on the opening drive. At the Riders’ five yard line on third down, the Green and White’s D held strong. Justin Herdman-Reed logged a sack on Brown, bringing Mason Fine and the Saskatchewan offence onto the field for the first time in 2022.

The Bombers defense responded with a big play of their own, as Tyqwan Glass intercepting Fine to put Winnipeg’s offence back on the field.

Winnipeg opened the scoring, getting on the board first with a 18-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio early in the second quarter.

Both teams defenses held tall with three turnovers a piece and no more scoring to round out the first half, sending the Bombers into the locker room up by three at the half.

A dead ball to kick-off the second half gave the Bombers an extra point to pad their lead over their hosts in the opening seconds of the third quarter.

After the Riders went three and out with their first possession of the second half, the Bombers set up the first major scoring drive of the game, established by a William McRae 24-yard run.

Brown with a quarterback sneak dove into the end zone and Ali Mourtada was good on the extra point to give the Bombers an 11-0 lead.

Saskatchewan had a chance to get on the board midway through the third, but the 35-yard field goal attempt by John Henry Nell sailed left of the uprights.

Nell made good on his second attempt of the game with a 46-yarder to get the Riders on the board early in the fourth quarter.

Winnipeg responded immediately with a 78-yard touchdown by Prukop to Mister Philyor. Liegghio converted on his second attempt of the game to give the Bombers a 18-3 edge.

Saskatchewan would answer with a touchdown of their own. Fine connected with Jester Weah in the end zone for the second major of the quarter. Nell’s first convert attempt was good to bring the Riders within eight.

The momentum shifted in the Riders’ favor sparked by a 52-yard punt return by Jonathan Johnson that set up a touchdown drive. Dolegala found Dieuly Aristilde in the end zone but an unsuccessful two-point convert denied the Riders of a tie game.

Within the final two minutes, the Bombers scored a major again when Prukop connected with Tavaris Harrison. Mourtada was perfect 3/3 on the night, padding the Bombers lead 25-16.

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