Winnipeg – The Calgary Stampeders wrecking ball of a running back, Jerome Messam, has rushed for 185 yards in the Stamps 1-1-1 start to the Canadian Football League season. But 137 of those came in Calgary’s 36-22 win over Winnipeg 3 weeks ago, and the Blue Bombers insist that Messam will not find the going so easy when the teams play a rematch Thursday at 7-30 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
Bomber middle linebacker Khalil Bass says he intends to be a lot better this time against Messam. “Yeh, absolutely, I didn’t have my best game that game. I was just, couldn’t get into the rythmn of things but this game will definitely be different. I think I was a little out of shape and the altitude got to me but it will be a different story when they come here” said Bass. He added “It’s a point of pride, he did the same thing to us last year the first time in Saskatchewan and the next two times we cleaned up our act and kind of held him. We have a score to settle with him.”
Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea called the loss in Calgary and Messam’s rushing yardage an “embarassment.” O’Shea says the players on defence are highly motivated to make sure Messam doesn’t have his way again.
The Bombers have made three roster changes as they try to improve on their 1-3 record and get their first home win in three attempts this season. Rookie receiver Thomas Mayo, who caught 5 passes for 78 yards against the Stamps in week two, will replace injured Ryan Smith in the starting lineup. Kick return Quincy McDuffie will return from a one game injury absence. McDuffie will take defensive end Shayon Green’s spot on the roster, Green losing his starting spot to Adrian Hubbard. And rookie Canadian defensive end Trent Corney also returns from injury. Backup receiver Seydou Haidara was moved off the roster to make room for Corney.
The Stampeders have owned the Bombers in recent years, winning 13 of their last 14 meetings. They have also won 7 straight against the Bombers in Winnipeg, 4 of those at Investors Group Field. And, Calgary has won their last 12 games coming off a bye week.