Roughriders embarrass new coach Burke's Bombers, 52-0

The Saskatchewan Roughriders snapped a five-game losing streak Sunday with a convincing 52-0 victory over the struggling Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the annual Labour Day Classic at Mosaic Stadium.
Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets gives Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Brandon Stewart the straight arm during the second half of CFL football action in Regina on Sunday. (Liam Richards/Canadian Press)

Even a new head coach couldn't help the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders crushed the Blue Bombers 52-0 on Sunday, dealing Tim Burke a loss in his CFL debut as a head coach.

Burke replaced the fired Paul LaPolice last weekend.

"I'm not used to getting my ass kicked," Burke said. "We got down early and the score snowballed."

Saskatchewan took full advantage of the reeling Bombers, ending a five-game losing streak to stay competitive in the CFL West. The Roughriders are now 4-5, but within reach of the third-place Calgary Stampeders in the hotly-contested division.

"Our guys are hungry," said Saskatchewan head coach Corey Chamblin. "They needed this. This is the one we really needed to move on."

Saskatchewan amassed a net offence of 422 yards compared to a meagre 102 for Winnipeg (2-7).

"I can't think of any aspect of the game that we won," said Burke.

Bombers quarterback Joey Elliot thinks his team needs to regroup and refocus.

"We have to move on to the game next week," said Elliott, who completed nine of 19 passes for only 61 yards with one interception. His reliever Alex Brink was also ineffective, completing five of seven passes for 35 yards.

"When the wheels fall off, the wheels fall off," said Elliott. "It's going to happen. The best thing about it is that we've got another game in seven days."

Chamblin, on the other hand, was pleased with his team's performance in every aspect.

"We would win in a couple of phases, each one would take its turn," said Chamblin. "But today we won in all phases."

Darian Durant threw touchdown passes of 25 and 21 yards to Weston Dressler. He left the game early in the third quarter with what appeared to be a lower-body injury and was replaced by backup quarterback Drew Willy, who fired a 43-yard touchdown pass to Terence Jeffers-Harris. Willy also scored a touchdown himself on a one-yard plunge late in the game.

Durant completed 13 of 19 passes for 168 yards, and also carried the ball four times for 38 yards. According to Chamblin, he was kept out of the game strictly as a precaution.

Saskatchewan's Kory Sheets rushed for 106 yards, including a lengthy 37-yard dash. He also caught two passes for a total of 16 yards.

Tyron Brackenridge blocked a Mike Renaud punt and returned it 15 yards for a Saskatchewan touchdown. He also intercepted an Elliott pass and returned it 39 yards to set up a field goal.

Sandro DeAngelis converted all four Rider majors and kicked field goals of 50, 29, 46, 30 and 26 yards. Chris Milo added punt singles of 39 and 68 yards.

The Riders led 10-0 after the first quarter, 28-0 at the half and 42-0 after three quarters.

Last year Saskatchewan defeated Winnipeg 21-7 in the Labour Day Classic. The Riders have now prevailed in eight straight. The last time the Bombers won it was in 2004.

The two teams meet again in Winnipeg next Sunday in the Banjo Bowl.

Burke, for one, is hoping for better results.

"All I can do is try my best," he said. "We've got to dig down deep and pull out the best performance we can find."