Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Bombers defeat Alouettes 22-10 in pre-season tilt

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MONTREAL — It should come as a surprise to no one this morning that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers squad that made their 2012 CFL pre-season debut at Percival Molson Stadium Thursday evening looked exactly like what they were — an improvised group of mostly rookies, many of whom won't be around when the regular season starts at the end of the month.
Starting seven rookies on offence and five rookies on defence, the Bombers got four field goals from a combination of kickers Justin Parlardy and Eric Wilbur and a 38-yard third-quarter touchdown run from rookie running back Bloi-Dei Dorzon to defeat the Montreal Alouettes 22-10 before an announced crowd of 20,005 here last night.
Rookie Bombers defensive back Demond Washington, who had an interception, tied for the team lead in tackles with five and also had a solid night of punt and kick returns, said he dedicated his perfomance to two former teammates at Auburn University who were slain last weekend at a house party near the campus.
"It was on my mind all week," said Washington. "Today it was on my mind. I dedicate this win to those guys."
Now, as is generally the case in these pre-season contests, if you wanted to spend your evening looking for things to keep yourself up at night, there was plenty of it.
For Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, the problem was a nasty case of dropsies that saw the Bombers putting the ball on field all game long, although they recovered three of them, had two others overturned by a penalty and a review and ultimately were only nailed for one turnover.
Not good enough, said LaPolice. "We've got to protect the football better. That's the thing I was disappointed with," said LaPolice.
They'll also have to protect the quarterback better after a night that saw a rookie-laden Bombers offensive line yield five sacks in the first half and six overall.
But with both of Winnipeg's starting tackles — Glenn January and Andre Douglas — home in Winnipeg nursing minor injuries, it would be both premature and inaccurate to suggest the leaky state of the Bombers offensive line here last night was a function of the off-season departures of guard Brendon LaBatte to Saskatchewan and centre Obby Khan to retirement.
There was a lot more missing than just Khan and LaBatte on this night and it will be up to the Bombers coaches to determine how Chris Greaves fared in place of LaBatte and a combination of Justin Sorenson and Chris Kowalczuk performed in the absence of Khan.
"I wouldn't say it's just the offensive line," LaPolice said of all the sacks. "I know in one case, the back went the wrong way. And in some cases we held the ball (too long). Until you see the film, it's hard to say."
But there was also lots to like on this night — and no one more than Bombers rookie defensive back Demond Washington, who was nothing short of sensational.
With the game only a couple minutes old, Washington immediately made his presence felt with a devestating hit on Als receiver Brandon London that left London lying on the field for the better part of five minutes before he was finally helped off.
A couple of minutes later, Washington separated another Montreal receiver from the ball, forcing Travon Patterson to put the ball on the ground with another hard hit. Washington finished the night tied with linebackers Dustin Doe and Terrellfor the team lead in tackles with five and also had a late interception.
And when he wasn't busting up passes and Montreal receivers, Washington was showing a prowess returning punt and kicks. While he was erratic at times as a returner — fumbling on one return and doing more horizontal running tham the Bombers coaching staff will be comfortable with — Washington averaged 12 yards on his three returns, which included a 26-yarder.

FIELD NOTES — The Bombers are scheduled to fly home to Winnipeg early this morning. They finish their pre-season schedule next Wednesday at Canad Inns Stadium against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats…Receiver Paul Hubbard was wearing a sling after the game last night. He could be out awhile.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM CDT: updates to halftime

11:00 PM: final update

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