WINNIPEG – It’s tough to put much stock in a preseason win.
Yes, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers knocked off the Montreal Alouettes 36-13 in their opening preseason game, but when you dress 74 players, it’s tough to get a read on what your team will look like when the real games begin.
It’s no secret that the purpose of exhibition games is not to win. It’s more important to evaluate players deeper in the depth chart.
That’s why Weston Dressler did not play a snap at slotback, why Drew Willy and Matt Nichols only threw it nine times combined, and why Andrew Harris carried the ball just three times.
Dominique Davis spent a good chunk of the game behind centre for the Bombers. He led the team to a first-half-ending touchdown, finishing 4/9 for 81 yards and running for 25 yards. He also threw an interception but the fault was all Quincy McDuffie’s, a sure touchdown going through his arms and into the hands of a Montreal defender.
Not to be outdone was Brian Bennett, who capped a 47-yard scoring drive with a one-yard keeper and added a 28-yard TD pass to Freddie Williams. Tim Flanders was also a bright spot at running back, amassing 111 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps the Bomber with the strongest performance on the night is one that won’t even make the final cut: kicker Sergio Castillo booted four field goals, including one from 50 yards, and made all three of his converts. But with Justin Medlock signed to big money, Castillo will likely be finding work in a different city in the near future.
One of the key reasons Winnipeg got the win was the fact that the Montreal offence stalled once their top two QBs were finished for the night. Kevin Glenn stormed out of the gates, going 14/19 for 140 yards and a TD. Rakeem Cato also looked sharp, completing 4/5 passes for 47 yards and a TD, but the Alouettes offence did virtually nothing after taking a 13-3 lead in the second.
Something you never want to see in preseason is someone getting hurt. Jeff Keeping left the game with a leg injury and returned to sideline in fourth in street clothes. The team said it’s too soon to speculate on the severity.
The Bombers wrap up their preseason schedule Monday, June 13th in Ottawa. Pre-game coverage starts at 5 p.m. on 680 CJOB.