Blue Bombers beat Redblacks despite losing starting QB Matt Nichols

Blue Bombers 29 Redblacks 14

OTTAWA — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost starting quarterback Matt Nichols but remain undefeated after a 29-14 win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night at TD Place.

Nichols was solid for the Bombers (3-0), going 16 for 20 for 262 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game in the third quarter.

He had run the ball for 18 yards and was taken down hard by Kevin Brown and looked a little shaky as he made his way to the locker room.

Chris Streveler replaced him under centre, going completing 6-of-8 passes for 42 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also rushed for two touchdowns.

The Redblacks (2-1) dropped their first game of the season and will have plenty to work on before next Saturday’s game against Montreal.

Ottawa’s Dominique Davis, making his first start against his former team, struggled going 21 for 36 for 234 yards and two interceptions.

Winnipeg took a 22-4 lead on a one-yard QB sneak by Streveler early in the third quarter, but the Redblacks managed to make it a game, for a short while.

Lewis Ward made it 22-7 with a 42-yard field goal and on the next play Jonathan Rose recovered a forced fumble and ran in a 39-yard touchdown to make it 22-14.

Ottawa’s Ryan Lankford made a bad decision on a punt return midway through the fourth when he allowed the Bombers to recover the ball on the four-yard line. Two plays later Streveler ran the ball in for his third touchdown of the game to make it 29-14 Winnipeg.

Both teams had their issues in the opening half, but it was Winnipeg that held a 15-4 lead.

Leading 8-4, the Bombers extended their lead midway through the second quarter as Streveler completed a 75-yard drive with a two-yard TD pass to Drew Wolitarsky.

Winnipeg kicker Justin Medlock had a rough start. In the first quarter he hit the upright on his first field goal attempt and in the second was forced to settle for a single when he kicked wide right giving the Bombers an 8-1 lead.

In comparison, Ward set a personal record with his longest, 53 yards, for his 58th consecutive field goal.

Nichols picked up his 100th career TD connecting with a wide-open Nic Demski for an 82-yard touchdown pass to take an early 7-0 lead.

Ottawa’s Richie Leone kicked a 51-yard single to get the Redblacks on the board.

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