Strike up the band — the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have two straight wins to start the season!
The latest victory, a 22-16 win over the Toronto Argonauts at CanadInns Stadium Friday night, gives the Bombers a 2-0 record for the first time since the 2003 season, when the club went 11-7 overall.
For a moment there, it looked like the Bombers wouldn’t be celebrating. The Argos had the Winnipeg defence on the run in the final quarter, but Deon Beasley forced a Chad Owens fumble on the Toronto 35 yard line with under 90 seconds to play.
The fumble was recovered by linebacker Joe Lobendahn.
Winnipeg RB Fred Reid has the only touchdown for the Bombers in the tight defensive contest, plunging over the Argos endzone line at the 6:45 mark of the second quarter.
Kicker Justin Palardy accounted for the rest of the scoring for the Bombers, hitting field goals from 32, 40, 34 and 31 yards out. Palardy was 4-for-6 in the field goal department on the night.
Toronto QB Cleo Lemon ran in a nine-yard touchdown at the 6:10 mark in the third quarter to count the only major for the visitors, and Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine connected on 21, 43 and 44 yard field goals — the latter two coming in the fourth quarter.
There were six turnovers — five by the Argos — in the game.
After getting a gorilla off their collective backs with a road win in Hamilton a week ago, the Bombers shake loose from somewhat of a smaller primate this time around with the victory.
The Bombers were 0-3 versus Toronto in 2010, a record that cost them dearly in the East. At this moment in the young season, the Bomb Squad sits atop the division.
Besides possibly being the final home opener at the Polo Park ball yard (the Bombers are expected to move into a new facility at the University of Manitoba), the game is also serving as the club’s annual Hall of Fame game.
Making up the Class of 2011 are former players K Troy Westwood and FB Wade Miller, as well as former presidents Ted Bartman and Bruce Robinson.
The Bombers face a quick turnaround after the Argos, having less than a week to ready themselves for a visit by the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday.