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Local roundup: Belle River's Desjarlais helps Blue Bombers end Grey Cup drought

Belle River’s Drew Desjarlais wasn’t even been born the last time the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won a Grey Cup.

On Sunday, the 22-year-old Desjarlais helped Winnipeg to its first Canadian Football League title in 28 years as the Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary.

“Extremely happy to wake up a champion,” Desjarlais said Monday. “Really getting the time to soak it all in now.

“It was quite the drought. I’m also thankful for all our fans. I know how much this title means to the City of Winnipeg right now and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Desjarlais was Winnipeg’s first-round pick, going fourth overall to the Blue Bombers, in May’s CFL Draft and started Sunday’s Grey Cup at left guard.

Desjarlais and the Blue Bombers finished third in the West Division, but upset Calgary and Saskatchewan. Winnipeg went in the underdog to the Tiger-Cats, who posted the best record in the CFL this season, but Desjarlais said his teammates never felt that way.

“The way we played through our playoff run was pretty incredible,” said the six-foot-two, 313-pound Desjarlais, who is a University of Windsor grad. “There was not a doubt in anybody in our organization that we were going to get to the Grey Cup and, once we got there, we were going to win it.”
Desjarlais was part of a solid offensive line that helped the Blue Bombers pile up 186 yards rushing and 222 yards passing.

“I’m really proud of the way our offensive and defensive lines played,” said Desjarlais, who is a Belle River high school grad and Essex Ravens product. “We always say it starts in the trenches and we really got to show that.”

Flyers top Maroons

Kade McKibbin scored twice and added an assist as the Leamington Flyers edged the Chatham Maroons 5-4 on the road on Sunday in Western Conference play in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Jaydon Fetter and Wyatt O’Neil each had a goal and two assists for the second-place Flyers (19-5-0-1) while Nicholas Beneteau had the other goal against the fifth-place Maroons (9-10-1-4).

Vipers fall short

The LaSalle Vipers could not stop the first-place London Nationals from a 10th-straight win in Western Conference play in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League play on Sunday.

The Nationals scored a power-play goal midway through the third period to snap a tie and earn a 5-4 win over the Vipers.

Spencer Paradis scored twice for the fourth-place Vipers (13-9-1-3) while Evan Ferguson and Abdul Abouzeeni added single goals against the Nationals (22-3-0-1).

Admirals sink Sharks

Cody Schneider scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead the Amherstburg Admirals to a 6-3 win over the Wheatley Sharks in Bill Stobbs Division play in the Provincial Junior Hockey League on Sunday.

Broden Meloche also had a pair of goals for the third-place Admirals (11-5-1-1) while Andrew Clark and Max Clifford added single goals. Drew Denomey, Josh Bennett and Alixe Saliba replied for the fifth-place Sharks (9-10-0-0).

Liburdi earns shutout

Goalie Romano Liburdi made 15 saves to record his fourth shutout in six games this season as the Lakeshore Canadiens blanked the Wallaceburg Thunderhawks 6-0 in Bill Stobbs Division play in the Provincial Junior Hockey League on Saturday.

Hunter Bailey had a goal and two assists for the first-place Canadiens (19-2-0-0) while Eric Larue, Max Sieberer, Tycen Chittle, Dylan Bradley and Jake Nimmo added single goals against the ninth-place Thunderhawks (2-18-0-1).