Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 09/1/2013 3:45 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 09/1/2013 8:18 PM | Updates
REGINA — The dates change. Some of the faces, too. But the script continues to remain the same for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: they have become the free space on the Canadian Football League bingo card, the three-down loop’s version of the 98-pound weakling.
Oh sure, there was a stretch in Sunday’s 51st Labour Day Classic when the Bombers — some 14½-point underdogs heading in — looked like they might have the 44,910 at Mosaic Stadium and the bookies in Vegas sweating.
Leading 17-7 late in the second quarter and getting spirited play from their defence and some solid quarterbacking from Justin Goltz, the Bombers were authoring what would have constituted the biggest upset of the first half of the CFL schedule.
And then, as has so often been the case this season and last, the roof completely collapsed on the visitors as the Saskatchewan Roughriders out-scored their opponents 31-8 in the final 32 minutes en route to a 48-25 win.
Winnipeg is now 1-8 after having dropped their seventh straight game and ninth-consecutive Labour Day Classic.
A for silver linings, don’t go there with Chad Simpson...
"This game isn’t about hanging with people. We’ve got to win," said the Bomber running back. "There were a couple of moments in the game where we could have taken over and won. That’s what pro ball comes down to, single plays. Your practice all week for that single play that can change the game and then we didn’t come up with what we needed to come up with.
"You always try to find positives. Yes, we did good. But we’ve done good against B.C. and fought against real good teams before. We did it last year, we did it this year. It’s not about taking the positives out a could-have won game. That can go on for maybe two or three games but when it keeps happening... what positives can you take out of that?"
The Riders got two touchdowns each from Kory Sheets, Taj Smith and Geroy Simon as Darian Durant threw for 310 yards and four scores against the Bombers as Saskatchewan moved to 8-1 for the first time in franchise history.
Goltz, making his third pro start, ran for two TDs for Winnipeg while Jason Boltus also kept on one-yard QB keeper for Winnipeg’s three majors. The Bombers also got a safety when Henoc Muamba swallowed up Sheets in the end zone for the first points of the game.
Goltz connected with eight different receivers in the game while completing 18 of 29 passes for 182 yards, but also tossed two fourth-quarter interceptions that snuffed out any hope of a Bomber comeback, the first coming with the visitors trailing 31-25.
"I have to look at it and roll with the good," said Goltz. "I know I’m a good football player. That’s never crossed my mind, regardless of what’s happened. But I feel terrible about what happened in the second half and I feel like I made some crucial mistakes that put my team at a disadvantage.
"In the first half, I feel like I took it one play at a time and didn’t force stuff. And then come crunch time I feel like I pressed."
Still, for as much as the Bombers traded blows with the CFL’s heavyweight in the first half, they have now lost their last three games by 19, 23 and 23-point margins. During the seven-game losing streak, five of the losses have been by double digits.
"Guys on this team know we can win," insisted Jovon Johnson afterward. "We’ve got to stick together and play it out. We’re a much better team than what our record indicates. As everybody can see, we just played the best team in the league and held them to 14 points in the first half and if it wasn’t for the mistakes in the second half would have had a chance to win the game.
"We can’t fall apart in the second half of games and learn to finish teams off and just keep competing and plugging away at it. Once we get a break, I think things will change for us a little bit."
Updated on Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM CDT: Updates score.
6:50 PM: Updates score
8:18 PM: Adds quotes.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Brian Bowman wins mayoral battle
Pagtakhan retains Point Douglas seat
DNA testing will determine if accused is mother of 6 dead infants
Dobson unseats incumbent in St. Charles
Morantz edges Duncan in Charlewood-Tuxedo
Canada won't be cowed by terrorist attack: PM
Wyatt reinstated in Transcona
Schreyer unseats Steen in Elmwood-East Kildonan
Winnipeg votes: Oct. 22, 2014
Orlikow beats Taz in River Heights-Fort Garry
Scott Gillingham wins in St. James-Brooklands
Family, friends, colleagues bid farewell to Lindor Reynolds
Mayes re-elected in St. Vital
Eadie back for second term in Mynarski
Matt Allard elected councillor in St. Boniface
Gerbasi holds down Fort-Rouge-East Fort Garry
Browaty holds on to North Kildonan
Polls close, but long lines reported at polling stations
Bombers offensive line uncertain heading into must-win game against B.C.
Soldier killed in Parliament Hill siege
Expert: Autopsy doesn't show if Brown went for gun
Man, 26, killed in crash on Highway 3 between Sanford and Oak Bluff
Family: Doctors don't detect Ebola in nurse's body
Attorney says Kings' Voynov didn't hit girlfriend
Jets apply tourniquet
Senate to hear more cluster bomb testimony
Security at Manitoba Legislature tightened after Ottawa shooting
Griddle me this
Bradlee recalled as a genius, great journalist
Last chance to vote: Polls open until 8 p.m.
St. Malo man dies after collision
Civic election: then and now
Bank of England keeps rates steady
Teen missing in East Elmwood found safe
Candlelight vigil being held for babies tonight at 6 p.m.
German firm wins appeal in Spain thalidomide case
Warm weather, possibly rain, on election day
Century ago: Great War, great champagne vintage