Hype and even training-camp votes of confidence are one thing, but delivering the real deal under the lights is a different animal. Bombers slotback Jade Etienne made a real debut in the CFL Thursday night, catching three balls for 79 yards. Etienne's major contribution was a 65-yard pass and run play on Winnipeg's first play of the second half, a momentum-turner.
Linebacker Terrell Parker, who won his job with a solid camp, had a busy night and set the pace with nine tackles. The Muamba brothers, Henoc and Cauchy, combined for 11.
Demond Washington gets the ball with a punt-return touchdown of 80 yards early in the second half.
They didn't much like the game's early plays but the first football sellout at Investors Group Field found their groove before it was over.
Demond Washington, wearing No. 7, had a brilliant night. Displaying instincts and speed, he had an interception and 46 return yards in the first half. He also had a kick return touchdown early in the second.
Number of times Washington reversed direction in the early stages of his 80-yard punt return for the major.
Amount of game time, in minutes and seconds, Bombers fans had to wait in 2013 for their team to score a touchdown. This included a pair of nondescript efforts in pre-season games and a disappointing start on Thursday night. The team ended the night with three majors.
Yards that a critical pass-interference penalty cost the Bombers: Jovon Johnson was called for the infraction on a second-and-long when Winnipeg, with the lead, appeared to have Montreal hemmed in its end of the field in the fourth quarter.
There were a lot of highlights here on opening night -- in particular urging the defence on while Calvillo was mustering up a comeback -- but the crowd was at its best during Washington's electrifying punt return early in the second half.
-- Tim Campbell