Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Harris, Blue Bombers Advance to West Final with Victory over Roughriders

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Harris, Blue Bombers Advance to West Final with Victory over Roughriders

Article excerpt

Bombers beat Riders, advance to West final


REGINA - Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea noticed Andrew Harris enter the media room after Winnipeg's West Division semifinal victory and felt compelled to downplay his running back's performance.

"Yeah, he was OK," O'Shea said with a laugh.

Harris ran in a fourth quarter touchdown as the Blue Bombers beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23-18 on Sunday. Winnipeg will travel to Calgary next weekend to face the Stampeders in the West final with the winner earning a Grey Cup berth.

Harris finished the game with 19 carries for 153 yards and Matt Nichols threw a touchdown to Drew Wolitarsky.

"I just enjoy watching him work because he's always doing it so hard and so well," O'Shea said of Harris. "We get on his back any time we get the chance."

Harris exploded for 126 rushing yards in the second half to get the Blue Bombers offence rolling. His touchdown run came a few plays after he rushed for 37 yards to give Winnipeg good field position.

He said the key to bouncing back from a slower first half was to just stick with his team's gameplan.

"The run game is usually hard to get going right away and if you can that's great, but usually a second half when you get things going, you start to wear the defence down," Harris said.

Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones said his team didn't tackle very well which is what led to Harris's success.

"We had him at the line of scrimmage or close to the line of scrimmage two or three times and we just did not tackle very well," he said.

The Bombers hadn't won a playoff game since the 2011 East Division final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They also hadn't beat Saskatchewan in the playoffs since the 1965 West Division semifinal.

Harris, a Winnipeg native, said his phone was blowing up with text messages and emails from family and friends.

"I mean, everyone's excited about it," he said.

"We can enjoy this now, but we have to flush it and move on to Calgary."

The Roughriders struggled to get much going on offence as No. …

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