Last night’s game and the result poorly reflected the effort that was put in from the Bombers defense. The first quarter replacement referees must have come north from the NFL to work this game, because they clearly weren’t the cream of the crop.
The opening drive belonged to the Argos, were Jarious Jackson, who is making his first professional start since August 10, 2010, marched down the field.
However to be fair with the Bombers defense, the refs did help them out. On 2nd and 10, Jackson throws is off target and it hits the ground, which should have ended the Argo rally.
However the Bombers DB Alex Suber got called for Pass Interference, when the receiver really had no chance catching the ball because it was so far away. This extends the drive given the Argos a fresh set of downs, eventually leading to another 2nd and 10, another uncatchable ball, and another Pass Interference, this time on Brandon Stewart extending the drive even further.
After another incomplete pass, Jackson misses Inman in the end zone, forcing another third down. However the refs AGAIN threw a flag in the misfortune of the Bombers. This one was also sketchy, because Jonathan Hefney had some words for the receiver, which Stewart didn’t like, so he went over to tell him to keep his mouth shut, and the referee gave Stewart an Objectionable Conduct penalty, giving the Argonauts 1st and Goal. After getting stuffed on the 1 yard line twice, Jackson calls his own number and sneaks it in to the end zone, ending a 7 minute, circus like drive for the Argonauts, giving them a 7-0 edge.
The Bombers defense only gave up one major play on that drive, a 22 yard run courtesy of Andre Durie. Besides that, they were phenomenal. It was a few sketchy penalty calls that gave those 7 points to the Argos.
Then it was the Blue Bombers chance to respond. After an offside call against them, Pierce throws right into the hands of Marcus Ball, who returns the interception for a touchdown, making it a quick 14-0 lead for the Argonauts.
After a 2 and out by the Bombers, Jackson makes quick work, hitting Dontrelle Inman for a gain of 22. However on the next play, Jackson is hit hard and the ball comes loose. It is scooped up by Winnipeg and they return it for a touchdown. Hold your horses there folks, since it is a scoring play, the new rule introduced this year is that all scoring plays must be reviewed by the CFL, and for good measure Toronto throws a challenge flag to make sure this play is reviewed.
The ruling on the field is that Jackson’s arm is in forward motion when the ball is knocked loose; reversing the fumble and TD, and it is called an incomplete pass. Just over a minute later, and 3 plays, Jackson hits Inman in the end zone for a touchdown, making it a 21-0 game at the end of the first quarter.
The zebras clearly affected the outcome of all of those drives, because it could have been easily 14-7 for the Argos, would it of not been so controversial. But that was the end of the ref’s archaic rulings, as they were almost completely quiet for the rest of the game.
The second quarter saw Joey Elliot to start, as the last play of the first quarter saw Pierce getting rocked out of the stratosphere, causing a debate between either a clean hit, or a helmet to helmet hit.
Elliot’s first play of the game saw him completing a pass to Mann, who ends up fumbling the ball, giving it right back to the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos couldn’t capitalize on the drive, giving Winnipeg the chance to actually have the ball in their hands and their offense to cut into this lead.
After an 18 yard reception from Kito Poblah, the Centre of the Bombers had some trouble getting the ball off, sending it to Elliot’s feet, and Brandon Isaac recovers, giving the ball to the Argos, another costly turnover by the Bombers.
The Bombers stuff the drive attempt, and Pierce comes back into the game. He immediately makes impact hitting Clarence Denmark for a 56 yard gain, after a 40 yard punt return by Demond Washington. This lead to a 20 Yard Palardy field goal, getting Winnipeg on the board, 21-3 Argonauts.
Jackson has not found the form he was in the first quarter here, and he goes 2 and out once more in the quarter.
On the 9th play of the Bombers drive, Pierce hits Denmark in the end zone, capping a 3 minute, quick work quick gain drive. Cutting into the lead even further its 21-10 now.
On the pursuing drive, the Argos march it up the field, but time is not in their favor, so they send Waters to attempt a 46 yard attempt and he nails it, making it 24-10 at the half for the Argos.
Washington receives the kickoff to the second half and returns it to the 40, however the ball gets away and Toronto goes right back in offense mode.
That’s really were all the excitement ended in the third quarter, because it was filled with stuffed drives and no points, but Chad Kackert, who only had 6 rushing yards in the first half, broke out and finally put some yards under his belt. Chad Simpson has yet to make any kind of impact into this ‘passing first’ mentality.
Chad Owens, whose name was also not very common in this game, hits a season milestone, also setting a CFL first, as the first player to surpass 3,000 all-purpose yards in a season, 3 straight years.
The same drive spilled into the fourth quarter, leading Waters to a chip shot of 18 yards that he misses left, still salvaging a point, to make it an 18 point lead for the Argos. Elliot had that quarter all to himself, but Pierce is in for the fourth and final quarter, trying to muster up a comeback.
However his return was short lived, after a couple plays and the ball back into the Argos hands, Pierce was admitting to a severe headache, not concussion like symptoms, forcing the Bombers to take him out of the game for ‘Precautionary Reasons.’
Kackert is starting to get constant handoffs, trying to run the clock down. A mishandled handoff from Jackson to Kackert forces a third down punting situation, where Waters lets of an electrifying kick through the end zone giving the Argos a single, adding on to the lead, which is now 29-10.
Elliot drives the Bombers down the field, but his own silly mistake for an end zone pass gets intercepted and the ball fails once more to connect with a Blue Bomber pass the goal line.
The teams swap possession, and Elliot with just over 2 minutes to go and the comeback almost impossible, throws it right into the hands of an Argonauts defender, making it 6 turnovers on the night for Winnipeg.
And on the very last play Elliot gets picked off again, ending a disappointing night for the Bombers, losing to the Argonauts, 29-10.
Chad Kackert left the game in the fourth quarter after a horse collar tackle with an undisclosed injury. Of those 7 Winnipeg turnovers, 10 points were scored in favor of the Argonauts, sucking the life out of the Bombers comeback.
Jackson was consistent for most of the game, despite a bad second quarter, he finished with solid, but not huge numbers.
Jackson: 17/28 155 Yards, TD, 53 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing TD
Elliot: 20/30, 173 Yards, 3 INT
Pierce: 8/13, 120 Yards, TD, INT