Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Alas, it was Hall for naught

QB starts strong, but Blue Bombers can't hold on

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Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Terrence Edwards (left) gets a high five from fans as teammates Will Ford (centre) and Akkeem Foster look on after Edwards scored a touchdown against the Edmonton Eskimos during the first quarter of Friday night's game.

Just when it seemed safe to abandon all hope and simply pull the plug on this debacle of a 2013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season, the corpse showed signs of life Friday night.

And then it got run over by a truck.

Winnipeg blew a 20-0 lead over the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with a 35-27 overtime loss to Edmonton that is a new low in a season already full of nothing but for the Bombers.

The loss, which saw the Bombers give up a game-tying field goal in the final minute and then roll over in overtime, drops Winnipeg's season record to 2-10, while the Eskimos improve to 3-9.

 

Epic collapse

The Bombers had leads of 20-0 in the second quarter and 27-11 in the third quarter but simply could not close the deal.

A Demond Washington deflection in the game's final minute landed perfectly in the arms of Edmonton receiver Fred Stamps, setting up the game-tying field goal with just 26 seconds remaining and perfectly encapsulating in one series of plays a 2013 Bombers season in which everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

 

Hall the tallest midget

It is a monument to just how anemic Winnipeg's endless stream of starting QBs has been this season that Max Hall's 18-27, 253-yard, one-TD, two-INT performance was by far the most effective outing a Bombers QB has registered this year.

It wasn't great -- but there will be no question over the coming week about who Winnipeg's starting quarterback will be next Friday. Hall was injured late in the final quarter and Justin Goltz finished up, but Hall said after the game his "upper-body" injury was minor and he would be ready to go vs. B.C. if called upon.

 

You've got to give them this -- they sort of learn from their mistakes

It is probably not a coincidence that Winnipeg's two wins this season -- and the one that was almost the third last night -- came in the second game of back-to-back games against the same opponent.

Winnipeg's Week 2 win over Montreal came after a loss to the Als in Week 1; Winnipeg's Banjo Bowl win over Saskatchewan came a week after they lost to the Riders on Labour Day; and what should have been a Bombers win Friday would have come after the Bombers lost last weekend in Edmonton.

 

Finally

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterbacks had gone -- get this -- 290 minutes 22 seconds between touchdown passes when Hall finally got his team off the schneid with a 12-yard TD strike to Terrence Edwards late in the first quarter.

The drought between TD passes dated all the way back to the second quarter of Winnipeg's 37-18 loss to Hamilton on Aug. 16 when Rory Kohlert hauled in a six-yard TD pass, also from Hall.

And the quarterback-TD drought wasn't the only one that ended with Edwards' TD reception. The catch was also the first TD of the 2013 season for the veteran Bombers slotback.

 

Dude, where are the rest of our fans?

The Bombers announced a crowd of 28,859, by far their smallest crowd at Investors Group Field this inaugural season.

While 28,859 would have been just short of capacity at the old Canad Inns Stadium, it's almost 5,000 short of a sellout at Investors Group Field. This was possibly due in part to what were surely some no-shows on what was a bone-chilling night.

 

Up next

The Bombers will host Buck Pierce and the B.C. Lions Friday at IGF. The game will mark Pierce's return to Winnipeg, where he spent three-plus seasons as the team's QB before he was traded to the Lions two weeks ago for receiver Akeem Foster.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

the fifth quarter C3

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 21, 2013 C1

History

Updated on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 5:09 AM CDT: Adds videos, adds slideshow

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