EDMONTON — James Franklin came in to toss a trio of touchdown passes, including two to Adarius Bowman, as the Edmonton Eskimos won their third game in a row with a 32-3 drubbing of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on a rainy Saturday night.
The Eskimos moved into a tie for first place in the CFL's West Division at 3-1, holding a game in hand over co-leading Calgary.
The Bombers (2-3) have lost two games in a row.
The game got off to an exceedingly slow start.
After the Eskimos started the scoring with a punt single, Winnipeg came back with a 10-yard field goal to make it 3-1.
The game continued to limp along into the second quarter when Grant Shaw kicked a 34-yarder to put Edmonton up 4-3, a score that surprisingly held up to the half.
The Blue Bombers suffered a big loss midway through the third as Edmonton's Eddie Steele hit quarterback Drew Willy down low on a combined tackle with Marcus Howard. Willy was helped off the field with an apparent injury to his right knee and was replaced by backup QB Brian Brohm.
Edmonton finally got the game's first major score on their next possession as a 51-yard punt return by Kendial Lawrence set up a three-yard scamper into the end zone by Eskimos third-string QB Jordan Lynch.
Backup pivot Franklin came in to replace Esks starter Matt Nicholls on the next series after an Aaron Grymes interception and put together a solid drive, capped off by a 25-yard TD pass to Bowman to make it 18-3 with two minutes to play in the third.
Edmonton got another big pick five minutes into the fourth as a pass bounced out of the hands of Winnipeg's Tim Cronk and straight to Eskimo J.C. Sherritt, quickly leading to a 17-yard TD pass from Franklin to Kenny Stafford.
The Esks just kept coming as a 69-yard run by rookie Shakir Bell set up an 11-yard TD pass from Franklin to Bowman.
The Bombers next play host to the B.C. Lions on Thursday, while Edmonton remains home to face Saskatchewan on Friday.
Notes: Winnipeg came into the game without a win at Commonwealth Stadium since July 20, 2006… Edmonton won both games over the Bombers last season, holding Winnipeg to just 12 points combined in the two contests.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press