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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Stadium, we christen thee'

Blue quarterback Goltz ecstatic over first home win

Posted: 09/9/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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  • Heather Buchanan gets herself tuned up for the Banjo Bowl as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Investors Group Field Sunday.

    Trevor hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Heather Buchanan gets herself tuned up for the Banjo Bowl as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Investors Group Field Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' fans scream during the Banjo Bowl against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Investors Group Field Sunday. The Bombers won beat the Sask. squad 25-13.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' fans scream during the Banjo Bowl against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Investors Group Field Sunday. The Bombers won beat the Sask. squad 25-13.

  • Bombers Jovon Johnson carries the ball during the first half of the Banjo Bowl.

    TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

    Bombers Jovon Johnson carries the ball during the first half of the Banjo Bowl.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bomber Demond Washington (7) brings down Saskatchewan Roughrider Taj Smith (88) during the first half of the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free press

    Winnipeg Blue Bomber Demond Washington (7) brings down Saskatchewan Roughrider Taj Smith (88) during the first half of the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Henoc Muamba (10) attempts to take down Saskatchewan Roughriders' Tristan Jackson (38) during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

    John Woods / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Henoc Muamba (10) attempts to take down Saskatchewan Roughriders' Tristan Jackson (38) during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Buck Pierce (4) gets pumped up prior to their CFL game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Winnipeg Sunday.

    John Woods / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Buck Pierce (4) gets pumped up prior to their CFL game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Winnipeg Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Aaron Kelly (19) hauls in a pass under Saskatchewan Roughriders' Macho Harris (3) during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

    John Woods / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Aaron Kelly (19) hauls in a pass under Saskatchewan Roughriders' Macho Harris (3) during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) and Pierre-Luc Labbe (47) celebrate Goltz's touchdown against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

    John Woods / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) and Pierre-Luc Labbe (47) celebrate Goltz's touchdown against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg Sunday.

  • Saskatchewan Roughrider Tristian Jackson (38) and Winnipeg Blue Bomber Demond Washington (7) have to be separated on the Bomber sidelines as tempers flare during the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Saskatchewan Roughrider Tristian Jackson (38) and Winnipeg Blue Bomber Demond Washington (7) have to be separated on the Bomber sidelines as tempers flare during the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

  • Saskatchewan Roughrider Renauld Williams (48) chases Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterback Justin Goltz (18) during the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Saskatchewan Roughrider Renauld Williams (48) chases Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterback Justin Goltz (18) during the Banjo Bowl Sunday.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bomber Jovon Johnson (2) is all smiles on the sidelines as the team defeats the Saskatchewan Roughriders 25-13 during the Banjo Bowl.

    Winnipeg Blue Bomber Jovon Johnson (2) is all smiles on the sidelines as the team defeats the Saskatchewan Roughriders 25-13 during the Banjo Bowl.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) is sacked during the second half of play during the Banjo Bowl.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) is sacked during the second half of play during the Banjo Bowl.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) high fives fans as he exits the field after leading the Bombers to a victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Justin Goltz (18) high fives fans as he exits the field after leading the Bombers to a victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl.

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers' fans celebrate as the team played to their victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Blue Bombers' fans celebrate as the team played to their victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl.

On Sunday, Bombers quarterback Justin Goltz got a rare treat for Bombers' pivots this year, greeting his counterpart -- Darian Durant -- as the winning quarterback.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

On Sunday, Bombers quarterback Justin Goltz got a rare treat for Bombers' pivots this year, greeting his counterpart -- Darian Durant -- as the winning quarterback. Photo Store

Justin Goltz surveyed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers dressing room -- music blaring, a half-dozen teammates eagerly offering their take on a Banjo Bowl win to the media -- and grinned.

And that, in itself, has been a rare sighting in Bomberland this year.

"Man, it's a breath of fresh air. A gust of good wind came in here," said Goltz. "We needed this so bad. Our city needed it, our fans needed it. It was just so necessary. Guys stepped up and I'm just so proud of my teammates."

Goltz, making his fourth professional start, hardly painted the kind of quarterback masterpiece that will be showcased at coaching clinics -- he was good on just 8 of 17 attempts for 129 yards with zero TDs and an interception -- but he did just enough to lead the Bombers to their second win of the season. He also ran for a couple of scores and was able to connect with Aaron Kelly and Clarence Denmark for some big chunks of yardage to flip the field in a battle for field position.

Most importantly, he became the first pivot to get credit for a win this year since Buck Pierce, ironically traded to B.C. right after the Banjo Bowl, since July 4 in Montreal.

"It all snowballs and piles on after awhile," said Goltz of the seven-game losing streak that ended Sunday. "I'm excited, mostly for our fans. We get paid to come out here and do a job and this is the job we're supposed to do.

"Our fans, for good reason, have been disgruntled. We haven't got a win at home but we finally christened the stadium. It took a lot longer than anybody would have wanted, but at the end of the day this team played with a lot of heart and we got a win."

Goltz was just two of seven for 12 yards in the first half as the Bombers managed just 23 net yards offence. In fact, Winnipeg's first first down didn't come until the third quarter. But with the Bomber defence manhandling the Rider offensive line and getting in Darian Durant's face, the offence found a pulse in the second half and came up with some critical plays at critical moments.

"There were some plays I could have done better, we could have done better as a unit, but at the end of the day I do not care about stats," Goltz said. "I do not care about anything other than we got a win and this team needed a win badly.

"What you can take from this game is we've got guys with a lot of heart and they're going to scratch, claw, do whatever they can to pull out a win. It proved to ourselves that it doesn't matter what happened on the outside, there's a lot brewing on the inside of each of these individuals."

Bomber head coach Tim Burke didn't immediately commit 100 per cent to Goltz starting again this week in Edmonton, but also wants the starting QB carousel to stop spinning.

"Right now I'd probably say we'll stick with Justin," he said. "Obviously, you're always making that determination as you go along.

"I'd rather not have a rotating quarterback position."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 9, 2013 C3

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