June 30, 2015


Record: 0–0–0

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Blue Bomber Report

Bombers late to the party

Comeback win in first game at new digs wasn't meant to be

This time, the fans were on time but the team showed up late.

On a night when the storyline outside Investors Group Field was mostly about how surprisingly easy and efficient it was to get to the game, the larger storyline looked like it was going to be the car crash going on inside the park.

Als running back Noel Devine finds a hole between Bombers defenders Alex Suber (left) and Desia Dunn during the first regular-season game at Investors Group Field.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Als running back Noel Devine finds a hole between Bombers defenders Alex Suber (left) and Desia Dunn during the first regular-season game at Investors Group Field. Photo Store

But after falling behind 14-0 just five minutes into the first quarter and trailing 23-13 at the half, the Bombers stormed out of the locker-room for the second half and appeared to seize back control of the game with a pair of touchdowns that put them up 27-23 early in the third quarter.

But by night's end, it all came crashing down anyway as a new piece of Winnipeg history had an opening as disappointing as it was dramatic as the Bombers were outscored 14-0 in the final quarter to lose 38-33 to the Montreal Alouettes in the first regular-season game at Investors Group Field.

 

Up in smoke

Defensive back Demond Washington -- the man who replaced the recently exiled Jonathan Hefney as the Bombers' new boundary halfback -- was doing some puffing of his own last night, but it was from being out of breath instead of, well, other causes.

First, Washington intercepted an Anthony Calvillo pass in the first quarter and ran it back 46 yards, setting up the Bombers' first touchdown at Investors Group Field a couple plays later -- a three-yard TD reception by receiver Chris Matthews from QB Buck Pierce with two minutes to play in the opening frame.

And then, with the Bombers trailing 23-20 early in the third quarter, Washington gave the Bombers their first lead at the new stadium, returning a Sean Whyte punt 80 yards for a TD.

 

An unfortunate first

The first Bombers offensive play at Investors Group Field will have to go down as a Buck Pierce interception to Montreal defender Geoff Tisdale at the Winnipeg 40-yard line. Making matters worse, three plays later, the ball was in the Bombers end zone, with Montreal running back Chris Jennings getting the honour of scoring the first TD at IGF on a three-yard run just three minutes into the game.

 

Another unfortunate first

The first Bombers punt at IGF, a 40-yarder by Mike Renaud just two minutes after the Jennings TD, landed in the hands of Als returner Tyron Carrier, who promptly returned it 78 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-0 for Montreal just five minutes into the game.

 

What about Buck?

It wasn't pretty, but then a Buck Pierce game seldom is. The Bombers' QB threw a pair of interceptions in the first half -- and a third one was dropped by a Montreal defender. Pierce settled in briefly in the second half, turning the tide early in the third quarter when he found receiver Jade Etienne alone downfield on a 65-yard catch-and-run. Pierce then punched the ball into the end zone one play later on an eight-yard bullet to receiver Clarence Denmark. But it all sputtered in the fourth quarter as the Bombers were outplayed on offence and defence by the Als.

 

So, like, Buck's still healthy this morning and everything, right?

You bet. He came up hobbling slightly after his second interception in the first half and he took a few late hits from a Montreal defence that had obviously been instructed to hit him every time they could -- and sometimes when they couldn't.

Montreal sacked him three times, all in the second half, but by night's end, Pierce was still standing on his own two feet.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2013 C1

Investors Group Field was the scene of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' season-opener against the Montreal Alouettes Thursday.
Fans take in the action at Investors Group Field.
A packed house waves towels at Investors Group Field.
Winnipeg Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce yells instructions to teammates during the first quarter.
Montreal Alouettes' Tyron Carrier (35) returns a punt 78 yards for a touchdown during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Chris Matthews (right) celebrates the team's first-ever touchdown in the new stadium with teammate Jade Etienne.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Chris Matthews (13) celebrates his touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle JT Gilmore takes a break during second-quarter action.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce takes a break during the second quarter.
Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo (13) throws against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the first half.
Montreal's Noel Devine (5) sails through Alex Suber (21) and Desia Dunn (23) of the Bombers Thursday.
Chris Matthews of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is taken out of the play by Byron Parker (20) and Chip Cox (11) of the Alouettes in the second quarter.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke scopes out the action during second-quarter action.
Montreal Alouettes' S.J. Green (19) is taken down by Winnipeg Blue Bomber Demond Washington in the second quarter.
Blue Bombers Chris Greaves (left) and Chris Matthews celebrate the team's first touchdown against at Investors Group Field.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers Brandon Stewart (8) up-ends Montreal Allouettes' S.J. Green (19) during third-quarter action.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce scrambles with the ball during the third quarter.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce scrambles with the ball as Kyries Hebert of the Montreal Alouettes gives chase during the third quarter.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce throws the ball during the third quarter.
Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo throws during fourth-quarter action.
A Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan gets a string of blue beads on the way in to Investors Group Field.
Colby Wieby, 4, gets a temporary tattoo outside Investors Group Field.
Winnipeggers arrive  at Investors Group Field in droves.
Families and friends gather outside of Investors Group Field.
There was loads of entertainment for Winnipeggers outside Investors Group Field.
(Right) Bike valet Bill Newman takes care of fans' bikes as Winnipeggers arrive at Investors Group Field.
Winnipeggers Terry Crawford biked with son Aiden to Investors Group Field.
Winnipeggers enter the gates at Investors Group Field.
Bomber fans make some last-minute purchases at the Bomber Store at Investors Group Field before the game starts.
Fans twirl white towels to welcome the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the season opener.
A miniature airplane buzzes on the turf before kickoff at Investors Group Field.
A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over Investors Group Field.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Milt Stegall gets the handoff from Ken Ploen in the pre-game ceremony.
Former Blue Bomber great Milt Stegall runs through a gold ribbon after catching a pass from Matt Dunigan to officially open the Investors Group Field and the CFL regular season Thursday night.
A Canadian Forces C130 Hercules does a fly-by during Oh Canada.
Bomber fans stream in to the new stadium before the regular-season home opener against the Montreal Alouettes.
Investors Group field is seen from the air prior to kickoff.
Another view of Investors Group Field from the air prior to kickoff Thursday night.
Fans get ready to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' regular-season opener against the Montreal Alouettes Thursday night.
History

Updated on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 6:44 AM CDT: replaces photo, adds video, adds slideshows

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