Sports

Blue Bombers RB Brady Oliveira is ready to spotlight Lions

Winnipeg-Brady Oliveira is ready to be in the limelight again.

When Winnipeg hosts BC Lions in a home team key game on Saturday, the returning Blue Bombers will make their fourth start of the season in place of injured Andrew Harris.

The 9-1 bomber won seven games in a row, lost three games and defeated the 4-5 Lions on the skid to take first place in the CFL West Division.

After Friday’s walkthrough, Oliveira said, “Playing early in the season has improved the IQ of football and made things look much better in run games.”

“Everyone is excited about me, and I’m excited to get out there and play some play.”

Harris was put on the injured list for six games on Friday after a knee injury in the second quarter of a 26-16 victory over Edmonton last week. Oliveira went in and rushed 16 times for 105 yards.

Oliveira also started the first three games of the season when Winnipeg-born Harris was injured in his calf. Oliveira has 61 carries at 300 yards, but there is no touchdown this season.

Head coach Mike O’Shea said 34-year-old Harris could be off the list of six games at any time, but 24-year-old Oliveria and backup Johnny Augustin could replace him.

“I’m completely confident in Brady and Johnny,” said O’Shea, who said goodbye to the team next week. “They both proved when they had the opportunity to handle the load.”

BC head coach Rick Campbell was also impressed by Oliveira.

“When he comes there, he certainly looks good,” Campbell said. “When I met him there, they didn’t seem to miss the beat.”

Some scenarios this weekend other than winning the Lions could give bombers a home game at the final western IG Field on December 5th.

Even if BC defeats Winnipeg and Saskatchewan (5-4) loses to Calgary (5-5) on Saturday, the bomber will still take the top spot. If BC defeats Winnipeg with less than 21 points and Rough Rider defeats Stampeder, the result is the same.

Despite the rewards in front of them, the defending Gray Cup champion bombers were not focused on the playoff scenario.

Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros said, “I think it’s important to win all the games you’re in and treat them all the same.”

The bomber hasn’t lost at home this season (5-0), but the Lions have a 3-1 road record.

Quarterback Michael Riley said he would treat every match as a win, no matter where the Lions were sitting on the standings.

“I don’t really care mathematically what we have to do here or there,” Riley said. “We need to come out and play a good match with our division’s opponents.

“It’s too early to panic about what we have to do this week for the postseason.”

Riley’s biggest concern on Saturday is to launch his attack after losing to Calgary 39-10 last week.

He knows that Winnipeg’s defense makes it a daunting task, allowing him to average 12.6 points per game at the bottom of the league.

“They consistently bring it to every game, right? I think that’s the biggest thing,” Riley said.

“Almost every team that competes in this league can always play and have a great night. It’s hard to put together every time you hit the field, and they did a great job of it.”

BC (4-5) Winnipeg (9-1)

Saturday, IG Field

Unusual feat: If the bomber wins first place and clinches, it will be the first time since 2011 and the third time since 1995.

Consistent catcher: Lions receiver Brian Burnham had at least one reception in 91 consecutive games. That’s the same number of career regular season games he played.

Timing is everything: Winnipeg made 12 passcuts this season and eight passcuts in the fourth quarter, surpassing their opponents 81-6 and allowing only two field goals.

Blue Bombers RB Brady Oliveira is ready to spotlight Lions

Source link Blue Bombers RB Brady Oliveira is ready to spotlight Lions

Related Articles

Back to top button