MONTREAL -- He won 32 games as a starter at Brigham Young University and even once -- as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals in 2010 -- beat a New Orleans Saints team who were the defending Super Bowl champions at the time.
But it took six starts and five-sixths of an agonizing 2013 season before Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Max Hall could also add the following to his football resumé -- Won a game in the Canadian Football League.
"It feels really good," Hall said at Stade Molson Monday after leading his team to a 34-27 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
"Finally, all the hard work paid off. I didn't play a perfect game, but I played well enough and we made enough plays down the field. Give the receivers credit and give the offensive line credit for battling. We're getting better. We've just got to keep it rolling."
Hall finished the day 16-of-27 for 223 yards and two TDs. He also fumbled once and threw two interceptions that were negated by Montreal pass-interference penalties. And he also generated just 59 yards of offence through the first 28 minutes of the game.
But hey, beggars can't be choosers in this offence-starved season and Hall's performance was better than any Bombers QB has mustered in almost half a season.
While the Bombers front office is determined to spend the coming off-season securing the rights to a new starting CFL quarterback with experience and the demonstrated ability to win consistently, Hall still has an opportunity in the final few games of this season to stake his claim to come back in 2014 and compete for the backup job.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke -- who hasn't been shy this season about publicly expressing his displeasure with the sputtering Bombers offence -- gave credit where it was due on Monday, singling out Hall in particular.
"I'll tell you, our offensive coaching staff did a great job of putting together a game plan. They really worked hard, spent all eight days on it, and then Max did a great job of coming out and executing it.
"It took a lot of quarterback intelligence to carry out this game plan."
Hall showed that savvy in particular on a 40-yard TD pass late in the second quarter to receiver Clarence Denmark.
Denmark was not only not the primary receiver on the play, he wasn't even the second or third, but Hall had a hunch and found him anyway for the major score.
"On that touchdown pass, that was a play where (Denmark) is really just a backside post clear-out. We've never thrown that ball in practice or anything," said Hall. "(But) before that play, something told me I might have a chance."
Denmark -- who Hall credited with running a full-speed route despite having no reason to expect the ball to come his way -- said he was as surprised as anyone when he looked up and saw the ball.
"I didn't expect the ball to be coming -- we never throw that," said Denmark. "But we never gave up and I made a play on it."
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