Manitoba: famous for Crown Royal, tremendous musicians, cold ass winters and for producing great football players.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicked off their 2019 preseason with a 20-3 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday and Manitobans stole the show…on both sides.
- TEN, count them, TEN Winnipeggers were on the Blue Bombers roster Friday night.
- Let’s not forget about Edmonton here either. Alex Taylor, also born in Winnipeg, started at running back for the Eskimos and gained 26 yards on 8 carries.
- Shai Ross, another Winnipegger and University of Manitoba alum, had Edmonton’s play of the game with a 75 yard kick return. He was a tough catch away from scoring a touchdown on the next play too.
- These U of M Bisons players must have been comfortable playing on the same field they played their university ball at because Ross was tackled by former teammate, Dylan Schrot, after the huge return. Schrot followed his big stop with a 48-yard touchdown catch from Bryan Bennett. What followed was one of the best touchdown celebrations you’ll see all season.
- Schrot went undrafted but signed with the Bombers just two weeks ago and is making the most of this opportunity. He was a Canada West All-Star in 2018 when he scored 6 TDs in 8 games for the Bisons.
- Winnipeggers Geoff Gray and Brady Oliveira got into the action too. There’s no denying that they’ve got a special thing going in Manitoba when it comes to grass roots football.
- This almost makes me wonder if the CFL putting territorial draft picks into the draft is even necessary. It seems to me that teams are developing players from their region on their own.
- As for players not from Winnipeg…it seems like Logan Kilgore has an inside track on the backup quarterback job for Edmonton and it didn’t take long for Winnipeg’s prized free agent to make an impact. Defensive linemen Willie Jefferson recovered a fumble at the goal line on Edmonton’s first possession of the game.
- Shortly before kickoff on Friday, the CFL and Montreal Alouettes issued a statement saying the league has purchased the team from the Wetenhalls.
- There’s no denying Bob Wetenhall’s passion for the CFL and the Als but the time to move on has come. Thanks, Bob.
- Also on Friday night, Calgary absolutely smashed Saskatchewan 37-1 at McMahon Stadium, a game that was in danger of being postponed or cancelled due to poor air quality caused by the northern Alberta wildfires.
- Bo Levi Mitchell connected with Reggie Begelton for a 39-yard catch on the first play of the game and looked like he hasn’t missed a beat since November’s Grey Cup. Mark Begelton down for 1,000 yards if he stays healthy.
- How cool was it having two female officials making their debut on Friday night?
- Cody Fajardo went 10 of 12 for 73 yards gaining the edge on David Watford for Saskatchewan’s backup quarterback spot. Calgary’s Nick Arbuckle completed 8 of his 12 passes for 131 yards and a score once Bo headed to the sidelines.
This week’s slate of preseason games wraps up tonight with the Ticats taking on the RedBlacks in the Nation’s Capital as we inch closer to the season opener on June 13th.