Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–10–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Feoli-Gudino redeems himself on Winnipeg's final drive

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Receiver Julian Feoli-Gudino made two crucial plays during the final drive.

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Receiver Julian Feoli-Gudino made two crucial plays during the final drive. Photo Store

HAMILTON -- Goat would have been too strong a term but Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Julian Feoli-Gudino was certainly feeling like he was on the hotseat as his team struggled to regain its mojo in the late going of Thursday's CFL game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ron Joyce Stadium.

The first-year Bomber had the ball knocked out of his hands after gaining eight yards and a first down near the Hamilton 31-yard-line with six minutes left in the game and the Bombers trying to find some points while trailing the Cats 26-20.

Hamilton's Rico Murray forced the fumble and then covered it, halting a Winnipeg drive that started at its own 35.

Prior to that bit of life, the home team had wrested control of the game away from the Bombers with 23 straight points to take the lead, and Winnipeg's offence had gone very quiet.

"Even after my fumble, guys were telling me, 'Next play, next play,' and 'don't worry about it., we got you, we got you,'" Feoli-Gudino said of his miscue. "That's the type of attitude we have on the team and we just want to work together."

They certainly did that, taking the ball at their own 16-yard-line with 1:40 left in the game and marching it down the field for the winning score in a 27-26 decision.

And Feoli-Gudino made two key plays in the 11-play drive that decided the game.

He began the series with a 14-yard completion from quarterback Drew Willy, most importantly hanging onto the ball.

Then with time winding down and with a second-and-10 at the Hamilton 24, Will threw another strike to Feoli-Gudino. He took a hard hit from Hamilton defender Neil King as he made the catch at the two-yard-line, but once again, maintained possession to bank the 22-yard reception.

"The hit was tough but not the catch," Feoli-Gudino said. "It was a perfect ball. It was just hanging onto it."

Feoli-Gudino certainly had his earlier mistake on his mind.

"Today, I didn't have a choice (on the final drive)," he said. "I fumbled the ball so I had to do it for the guys. I had an off-side, too, earlier in the game and I wanted to redeem myself for that. We pulled it off.

"He (Murray) knocked it out of my hands," he said. "You've got to go for the next play and forget about it. You have to go for the next play and have a short memory when you play football. The ball was in the air and I'm glad Drew trusted me and I made that catch."

Feoli-Gudino ended the night with a productive 76 yards on six catches and the Bombers have a fifth win in six starts.

"We know we've got to make the plays and we trust everyone on the field," he said. "We practise it a lot of times, those situations, and we were ready. Everyone knew we were just going to march it down the field.

"We believe. We believe. I think that's the main thing. We just want to win and we're going to believe until the end and we're grinders and we showed it today."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2014 0

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