WINNIPEG – In a game that featured a lengthy lightning delay, it was the Blue Bombers’ offence that lacked any semblance of thunder until the final moments.
A late 63-yard Darvin Adams touchdown made the final score 22-14 for the visiting Montreal Alouettes, but the score makes the game look closer than it actually was.
Winnipeg sputtered on offence for the majority of the game, and an early injury to Weston Dressler didn’t help.
The prized free agent secured three early passes from Drew Willy and appeared primed to be the QB’s favourite target. But after his third catch, he took a hard helmet-to-helmet hit as he ducked going to the ground and was knocked out for the rest of the game.
Right after that hit, the lightning struck. Teams were sent off the field and fans were warned to take shelter. Rain eventually arrived at the stadium but most of the fans stuck around, waiting out the 64 minute delay.
But what they waited around for was not pretty. Willy missed open receivers and threw an interception on the first play after Montreal’s Brandon Bridge dove across the goal line for the lone touchdown of the first half. There were even boos coming down from the upper bowl.
The Bombers continued to struggle in the second half, with one of the lone highlights being Justin Medlock’s 58-yard field goal, tying Bernie Ruoff’s franchise record. Willy hit Adams for a long score just after the three-minute warning, but by the time Winnipeg got the ball back, they didn’t have enough time to do anything with it.
The fact that the game was even close can be pinned on Montreal mistakes: an endzone interception, a fumble inside the Winnipeg 5 and twelve penalties, one of which wiped out a long TD.
But the Bombers offence simply could not take advantage: Willy finished 25/34 for 303 yards, a TD and an INT, but the bulk of the yards came late. Winnipeg finished with 411 net yards of offence, but had only 163 heading into the final frame.
“We saved ourselves from complete embarrassment by taking the ball away from them in the red zone,” head coach Mike O’Shea said after the game. “Way too many mistakes. The guys worked hard, just too many mistakes. I’m sure on the film there’ll be lots of missed assignments. It’s not going to be a nice film session”
Perhaps the defence should also be slightly concerned: Montreal QB Kevin Glenn went 30/42 for 332 yards to go along with a TD and a pick.
The Bombers will try to get back on track Canada Day in Calgary. Kickoff is at 9 p.m.