Realty One

Saturday, September 22, 2018


WINNIPEG - Matt Nichols had almost forgotten what it felt like to win. It was good.

The Winnipeg quarterback threw one touchdown pass and no interceptions as the Blue Bombers halted a four-game losing streak with a 31-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes Friday.

"Any time you go through a stretch like that without getting a win, you almost forget what that feeling feels like, celebrating with your teammates in the locker-room after a good win and a much-needed win,'' said Nichols, who was playing his 100th CFL career game.

"Obviously, it was an incredible feeling. I'm proud of how the whole team responded this week and we came out and it felt like we were flying around in all phases.''

Nichols, who was pulled at halftime in Winnipeg's previous game after throwing three picks, completed 18-of-25 pass attempts for 256 yards and threw a touchdown toss to running back Andrew Harris.

Montreal quarterback Johnny Manziel, making his third CFL start, was sacked five times. The former Heisman Trophy winner went 18 for 25 for 212 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Bombers defensive lineman Craig Roh pulled Manziel down three times and also had seven defensive tackles.

"Sacking quarterbacks is already fun, but when they have a million Instagram followers it's even more fun,'' Roh said, referring to Manziel's social media popularity.

The victory in front of 24,349 fans at Investors Group Field upped Winnipeg's record to 6-7, while the Alouettes moved into double digits for losses at 3-10.

Manziel was intercepted by defensive back Marcus Sayles with less than three minutes left in the game. Winnipeg used the turnover to score on a one-yard quarterback sneak by backup Chris Streveler with 31 seconds remaining.

After going around the locker-room shaking his teammates' hands, a disappointed Manziel told reporters he thought he knew the coverage the Bombers would present, but it didn't work out and the interception hurt.

"It's hard,'' Manziel said. "It's hard, you know, how hard these guys are working just to come up short like that in the end. Like I said, I'm sick to my stomach.'

"These guys want to win. There's no denying the will and the want to in this locker-room and with this team.

"It's the little things that we're not doing to keep us together as far as penalties, flipping the field when we need to, doing little bitty things that we can execute better on.''

Montreal had nine penalties for 75 yards, while the Bombers were only flagged once for 10 yards.

(Canadian Press)

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