Roughriders roll past Blue Bombers 25-12 in pre-season tilt

It may have only been a pre-season game, but the Corey Mace era in Saskatchewan started on a positive note Monday with a 25-12 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Mace, hired as the Roughriders’ head coach on Nov. 30, 2023 after assistant coaching stints with the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts, used a number of starters in the first quarter while the Bombers elected to leave many of their starters in Winnipeg.

Veteran quarterback Trevor Harris saw his first action for the Riders since suffering a tibial plateau fracture in a 33-31 loss to the Stampeders on July 15, 2023. Harris played two series against the Bombers, completing seven of nine passes for 123 yards. His longest completion went for 65 yards to Shawn Bane Jr.

Chris Streveler, in his second stint with the Bombers, made the start at quarterback in place of Zach Collaros who didn’t make the trip to Regina. Like Harris, Streveler played Winnipeg’s first two series before giving way to Eric Barriere. Streveler was good on seven of eight pass attempts for 65 yards. He also showed his hasn’t lost his running ability, gaining 25 yards on three carries.

The Riders, coming off two consecutive 6-12 seasons, got touchdowns from tailback Frankie Hickson, on a one-yard run, and slotback Ajou Ajou, on a 38-yard reception. Fullback Thomas Bertrand-Hudon added a two-point convert on a one-yard run. Kicker Brett Lauther hit on field goals of 24, 38 and 41 yards. He also had two rouges on misses from 53 and 48 yards.

Winnipeg’s lone touchdown came with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter when Terry Wilson connected with Kevens Clercius on an eight-yard scoring pass. The Bombers missed the ensuing two-point convert.

Bombers kicker Sergio Castillo kicked two field goals, hitting from 26 and 53 yards.

In addition to Collaros, other veterans not making the trip to Regina for the Bombers were linebacker Adam Bighill, receiver Nic Demski, tailback Brady Oliveira and receiver Dalton Schoen. Defensive end Willie Jefferson dressed for the contest but didn’t see any game action.

The Riders complete their pre-season schedule in Edmonton against the Elks on May 25 before opening the regular season on June 8, also in Edmonton.

The Bombers host Edmonton on May 25 in their final pre-season game and will open the regular season on June 6, hosting Montreal in a rematch of the 2023 Grey Cup game that the Alouettes won 28-24.

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