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Eskimos beat Blue Bombers 39-32 in CFL's West semifinal

Eskimos beat Blue Bombers 39-32 in CFL's West semifinal

Early in the fourth quarter, wide receiver Adarius Bowman scored another TD on a 42-yard pass from quarterback Mike Reilly, who finished the game with 345 yards on 23-for-33 passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Bombers came in Sunday's game having dropped two of their last three with questions swirling around the playing status of quarterback Matt Nichols, who hadn't practised much due to a calf injury and the birth of his second daughter, Parker.

"With the Grey Cup coming here next fall, it's going to be hard to imagine that conversation not coming back in an even more significant way over the next year".

The Eskimos' victory means they'll head to Calgary next week for an intra-provincial battle against the Stampeders in the Western final.

The playoff game was the Bombers' first in Winnipeg since 2011.

Edmonton had a 39-16 lead at 3:20 of the fourth quarter when the Bombers attempted a comeback.

But the Bombers weren't about to roll over, as Dressler took a measure of revenge with a seven-yard touchdown catch, before Coates caught the two-point convert to make it a 15-point game with half a quarter to play.

Winnipeg got down to Edmonton's 26-yard line, but Chris Givens couldn't hang onto a pass and the Bombers turned the ball over on downs with just over four minutes left. It was their third turnover of the night, while Edmonton didn't commit one.

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Reilly threw for 294 yards against the Riders, finishing his seventh CFL campaign with a league-high 5,830 yards through the air. Punter Hugh O'Neill added a 65-yard single.

The Bombers jumped in front early in the second quarter thanks to a seven-yard touchdown catch by L'Damian Washington.

Three minutes later, Sean Whyte nailed a 28-yard field goal for the Eskimos in what would be the final bit of first-half offence for either team. The major marked the receiver's first since the second week of the season.

Mike Reilly hit a wide open Bowman for a 17-yard touchdown on Edmonton's first drive to start the scoring.

The Bombers responded with Medlock's 20-yard field at 10:48. Zylstra led the league this season with 1,678 receiving yards off 100 catches.

It seemed like neither team wanted to take the lead in the opening two quarters, and that tentative play led to a 10-10 tie at the halftime break.

Medlock was good on a 38-yard field goal to close the gap 18-13, but Edmonton answered back fast in a three-play, 75-yard TD drive.


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