LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Montreal Alouettes, Sat. Sept. 21, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

MONTREAL – Andrew Harris is set to return to the lineup as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers voyage east to take on the Montreal Alouettes Saturday afternoon at Percival Molson Stadium.

Harris had the inside track for both Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian prior to being levied his two-game suspension, and he’ll be looking to pick up where he left off on Friday.

The ageless running back is less than 100 yards shy of his fifth career 1,000-yard rushing season. Despite missing the last two contests, his 908 yards still lead the CFL along with his 6.4 yards per carry.

“It’s been a tough few months,” Harris told BlueBombers.com. “I’ve had a lot of positive support from fans, family and a lot of random people I don’t even know. Overall, it’s been extremely tough, but I’m looking forward to moving forward now and getting back out there with my teammates.”

» Depth Charts: WPG | MTL

Second-year Canadian Johnny Augustine filled in admirably for Harris. Augustine put up over 100 all-purpose yards in each of his starts, earning a receiving touchdown in the process. Harris will undoubtedly be the back of choice, but the Blue and Gold now know they have a dependable second option.

Saturday’s matchup features arguably the league’s top two rushers. Opposite Harris is William Stanback, a breakout star for the Alouettes. Stanback also missed a pair of games (due to an injury suffered in Week 8) and is second behind Harris with 6.2 yards per carry.

Andrew Harris is a Hall of Fame guy,” Als quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. told MontrealAlouettes.com. “He’s been doing it for a long time as a receiver and a running back, but as of right now, I’m picking Stanback over Harris. No disrespect to Andrew Harris, don’t try to mix me up.”

The 25-year-old American hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards since his injury, although he did find the end zone for the first time since early July in the Als loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week. The task will be a tall one for Stanback on Saturday, with the Bombers boasting the league’s best run defence.

Winnipeg allows a mere 67.8 rushing yards per game, by far the lowest in the CFL. Opposing teams only attempt around 13 ground plays against the Bombers in any given game, meaning the Als might have to go to the air to find success against Winnipeg.

The Bombers are looking to exercise some demons on the road. Their first loss of the year came when they were stunned in Hamilton by the Tiger-Cats in Week 7, before the Toronto Argonauts put together a heart-stopping comeback at BMO Field the very next week. All three of Winnipeg’s losses have come away from IG Field, although they did defeat the Als 56-10 last year at Percival Molson Stadium.

John Bowman will be looking to reach a career milestone Saturday. The veteran of 225 CFL games (all with the Als) is one sack shy of moving into sole possession of sixth place on the CFL all-time list. The next time he tosses an opposing quarterback to the turf, it will be his 130th career sack, surpassing Vince Goldsmith.

“I’ve waited my turn, I never forced myself into a situation I wasn’t ready for,” Bowman said when reflecting on his career. “I didn’t come here with no knowledge of pro sports. I wasn’t overly assertive; I listened, I learned, I took my time. If coach asked me to do something, I did it.”

The Bombers feature a star D-lineman of their own. Willie Jefferson has been on a tear as of late, notching seven sacks in his last four games, including a trio against Edmonton in Week 11. Jefferson sits at 11 sacks in 2019, two behind league leader Charleston Hughes.

The Blue Bombers will clinch a playoff spot with a win or a tie on Saturday and would also guarantee a post-season berth if the Ottawa REDBLACKS lose or tie versus the BC Lions. It would be the franchise’s fourth straight year with playoff football.

“We’ve got to take care of business in the coming weeks,” Nic Demski said. “The East is still very promising, but you always know what you’re going to get in the West and it always comes down to crunch time and the last couple of games, so to close out the season against Calgary and have that game in Saskatchewan obviously means a lot and we have a lot of business to take care of.”

BY THE NUMBERS

100 – Als centre Kristian Matte is slated to make his 100th career start Saturday. He has spent his entire nine-year career in Montreal.

4 – With a victory, Winnipeg would reach 10-plus wins for the fourth straight year.

34 – First quarter points allowed by the Alouettes this season – the fewest in the league.

92 – Rushing yards needed for Andrew Harris to reach 1,000 on the season.

– With files from BlueBombers.com and MontrealAlouettes.com.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Montreal Alouettes, Sat. Sept. 21, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

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