Bombers lose Pierce, drop opener

- June 30th, 2012

VANCOUVER — So, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are off to an 0-1 start, lost their starting quarterback late in the second quarter and then watched Geroy Simon break the CFL All-time receiving yards record to rub a little salt in the wound.

Other than that, how was your Friday night, head coach Paul LaPolice?

That question is a rhetorical one folks, as it seemed like what could go wrong, did go wrong for the Blue Bombers as they were on the receiving end of a 33-16 defeat that was close for roughly three quarters, yet turned into a blowout before a late major made the score a little more respectable.

The question everyone is hoping to get an answer to won’t be available for at least one more day and maybe even a few, as quarterback Buck Pierce left the game late in the second quarter with an apparent right knee injury, was seen by a doctor inside BC Place, but was not taken to hospital.

Pierce will be re-evaluated once the Blue Bombers get back to Winnipeg but the full extent of the injury might not be known until the swelling goes down.

Before the injury, Pierce was constantly under pressure as the Blue Bombers played with an inexperienced O-line that featured only one returning starter (right guard Steve Morley). Pierce was sacked four times in the first half, completed 3-of-9 passes for 11 yards and rushed three times for 23 yards. Not exactly the numbers folks were hoping for in the real debut of Gary Crowton’s new offence, which was largely underwhelming, to say the least.

Alex Brink came on in relief and though his numbers were bolstered by a late TD in garbage time, he managed to go 14-for-26 for 141 yards, two TDs and one INT.

But at the end of the day, the Blue Bomber offence didn’t get the job done.

Much like in the 2011 Grey Cup, the Blue Bombers fell behind and the running game was never really a factor, or an option as Bloi-Dei Dorzon rushed five times for four yards.

Brink had a few scrambles, leading to three carries for 19 yards, while linebacker Brandon Stewart took a direct snap on a third-down gamble 26 yards for a first down.

Veteran Terrence Edwards and newcomer Chris Matthews hauled in the TD passes from Brink.

The defence, meanwhile, held the Blue Bombers in it as long as they could, but in the fourth quarter, the dam broke and the route was on.

Defensive tackle Bryant Turner had a huge outing, finishing with three sacks and four defensive tackles.

The secondary did its best, but eventually Travis Lulay connected with Simon enough times to break Milt Stegall’s CFL record for receiving yards.

The clincher came on a 56-yard pass play that saw Simon sneak behind coverage like he has so many times during his illustrious career.

It’s not everyday you get a glimpse of history and even the Blue Bombers were quick to appreciate the moment after the game. We’ll get you that story on www.winnipegsun.com on Saturday and in Sunday’s print edition of the paper.

Simon caught five passes for 105 yards, making up almost half of the 233 yards Travis Lulay threw for in the contest.

We got a first-hand look at how classy Simon is and he received a loud ovation inside BC Place and then after the game when he joined friends, teammates and family members inside The Players Chop House afterward.

As impressive as the Lions offence was, their defence was equally solid, putting plenty of pressure on the Blue Bombers and earning one interception (though at least two others slipped through their fingertips).

It was a mixed bag for the Blue Bombers special teams.

Justin Palardy made his lone field-goal attempt, a 33-yarder.

Mike Renaud had 10 punts for a 39.4 yard average.

The aforementioned Stewart executed a fake punt, then scooped up an onside kick about a yard too soon, nullifying what would have been a return for a TD.

Demond Washington was outstanding in the return game and his night would have been even better, were it not for a costly penalty on Dan West that erased an 80-yard runback.

We’ll delve more into the game and the numbers as the weekend wears on and get you whatever updates we can provide.

For now, time to get some rest for the flight home.

Enjoy the weekend.

Categories: Football

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1 comment

  1. Lake_life says:

    Well no one should be surprised…..I stated back in February that the O-line (or lack of) would kill the Bombers…and if your waiting for January to return to help out..forget it…I don,t know who was more overrated January or Khan but they both were and are brutal…I also stated that Buck the Warrior…er…Wiener…..wouldn,t last 5 games…..ta-da……I also stated back in Feb that y’all should write the date of the day you read my comment….cause it will unfold that way…..received quite a few replies that I didn,t know what I was talking about….that I lived in the past blah blah blah…..no…I am not Don Cherry…but the next best thing to him! Would love to hear from all of you again????

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