Hope the city of Winnipeg is bracing for noise complaints, because south Winnipeg’s windows will be rattling after the Blue Bombers banged out a total gong show of a 53-17 loss to the B.C. Lions at Investors Group Field.
The home team laid out a comedy of errors – just without the laugh track – in front of a sparse and restless home crowd. The game was a nearly constant stream of Bombers fumbles or interceptions, occasionally punctuated by a quarterback being sacked: let’s be frank, the team was flat-out bad.
Thirty-four of those points came through Bombers turnovers, including three defensive touchdowns for the Lions, who continued to roll over the blue’n’gold in a fourth quarter that featured two field goals for B.C. and the return of Buck Pierce to Investors Group Field. The crowd cheered as their former pivot completed his first pass, which sort of says it all about the game.
This came after a third quarter which saw a touchdown plunge by Lions starting pivot Thomas DeMarco, and a run for a major by Winnipeg-raised running back Andrew Harris with a minute left in that frame.
After a high-scoring first quarter, the second stood pat until there was just 5:36 left to go, when Lions kicker Paul McCallum booted a 34-yard field goal. That one came off the back of a pick thrown by Bombers pivot Max Hall just three plays before, when his pass soared over Clarence Denmark’s head and into the hands of Lions defensive back Cord Parks.
Things got worse just over a minute of game-time later, when Hall threw another interception. This one, bound for Jade Etienne, was gobbled up by Lions cornerback Dante Marsh, who cruised to a 79-yard touchdown dash with almost 4:30 left in the half. McCallum later added a 50-yard punt for a single.
Then the record seemed to be stuck on repeat, because with 1:50 left in the half, Hall completed to former B.C. Lion Akeem Foster… who promptly fumbled it, where Parks recovered and ran it back to the Bombers house to a 45-yard recovery and TD return.
The Bombers did manage to put a little bit of cheer back into the game, when Max Hall threw a long bomb to Clarence Denmark for a 35-yard touchdown pass, the last round of scoring in the half.
Things went wrong on the Bombers’ very first play of the game, when running back Will Ford struggled to secure the football and then coughed it up. In the resulting scrum, Lions linebacker Adam Bighill scooped up the ball and carried it almost unopposed into the Winnipeg end zone for a touchdown.
The crowd booed then, but the Bombers responded with a four crisp plays, the last a 13-yard touchdown pass from starting quarterback Max Hall to receiver Clarence Denmark to tie the game at seven.
The Lions restored the lead on their next drive, when their starting pivot Thomas DeMarco connected with slotback Nick Moore, who was left by open by Bombers cornerback Brandon Stewart to go up 14-7. The Lions got another point on the ensuing kickoff, when the ball bounced clear past two returners and into the Bombers’ end zone for the rouge.