June 25, 2016

MTL 22, WPG 14 Game Recap

Maurice Leggett (31) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the game against the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, MB. on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

It coughed. It sputtered. And, along with the occasional cringe-worthy grinding of gears, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new-fangled offence looked more jalopy than racecar.

And so, after a 22-14 season opening home loss to the Montreal Alouettes in which there were early woes and late flashes, the Bombers offence – the whole crew, actually – will spend the next few days in the shop reworking this thing.

They’ll have to get it humming ASAP, too, what with the team in Calgary and Hamilton the next two weeks before home dates with Edmonton and the Stampeders.

Bombers’ QB Drew Willy finished the night with respectable numbers – 25 of 34 for 303 yards with one TD and one interception – but those totals were boosted by a late surge with the Alouettes in protect mode.

Drew Willy (5) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and John Bowman (7) of the Montreal Alouettes during the game at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, MB. on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

“I thought a lot of guys had some good plays in the second half, but obviously it wasn’t good enough… nowhere near good enough,” said Willy. “It starts with me. That’s the job of the quarterback. I’m always going to try to get better and I’m probably going to watch the film right now after we’re done.

“We need to do more in the first half.  You can’t not have points in the first half (it was 12-0 at the intermission). It puts a lot of pressure on our defence… our defence was on the field way too much, and that’s our fault.”

The game was delayed 65 minutes because of lightning in the first quarter, but the stoppage didn’t affect Kevin Glenn, who finished 30 of 42 for 332 yards with one TD to S.J. Green and one interception.

The Als were in position to make the score a lot more one-sided, if not for a Chris Randle interception at the Bomber one, a fumble by Tyrell Sutton inside the Winnipeg five, and a long strike to Duron Carter wiped out by penalty.

“There were a lot of mental errors tonight,” said Andrew Harris, one of the few offensive stars on the night with 13 carries for 80 yards and six catches for 40 yards. “We weren’t productive on first down and just couldn’t get into a rhythm. We’ve got to get touchdowns instead of field goals and finish drives.

“We had a chance at the end… our defence played lights out today and made some turnovers and were stout. We just didn’t finish tonight.”

Andrew Harris

Down 12-zip at the half, the Bombers first got on the board when Justin Medlock crushed a 58-yard field goal – tying Bernie Ruoff for the franchise record – a four-yard TD from Darvin Adams with 2:56 left, and a two-point conversion from Quincy McDuffie to pull Winnipeg to within 22-14.

But the Als chewed up some clock before a late attempt to rally by Winnipeg fell short.

“I don’t think it was just the offence,” said Bomber coach Mike O’Shea. “You look at all three phases… We had a chance on special teams to do a couple really good things and we didn’t. Defensively, they came up big when Montreal was in the red zone taking the ball away twice. But we also kept drives alive for Montreal with some penalties and some mistakes.”

O’Shea had said at the outset of training camp that he was concerned about how quickly this team could come together after so many offseason changes.

That showed Friday, although no one was using it as an excuse afterward.

“But that’s what training camp is for, that’s what we practice for,” said Harris. “We’ve just got to be better.”

Andrew Harris (33) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before the game against the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, MB. on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Photo: Johany Jutras)




  • WR Weston Dressler’s debut as a Bomber was off to a decent start – he had three catches for 22 yards early – when he took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Als’ defensive back Ethan Davis in the first quarter after a reception. The hit was clean, as Dressler lowered his head for extra yardage before contact. Dressler left the game under his own steam and returned to the sidelines in civvies. He’ll likely be evaluated again on Saturday and his status for the Canada Day meeting in Calgary is unknown.


58 – The length of Justin Medlock’s first field goal as a Bomber, tying a club record first set by Bernie Ruoff in 1975.

33:19 – Time of possession for the Alouettes; Winnipeg was at 26:41

0 – Sacks allowed by Monteal’s offensive line, which was under the microscope heading into the season.

5 – Sacks allowed by the Bombers.

4 – Of the Bombers’ first five possessions, four were two-and-outs.

NOTABLE: Making his hometown debut as a Bomber, Andrew Harris carried 13 times for 80 yards (6.2-yard average) and added another six receptions for 40 yards.

“Andrew tried to put the team on his back,” said Mike O’Shea. “He got a bunch of touches in a row and kept on driving and breaking tackles and they were whacking him. He was getting up and asking for more. That’s the kind of professionals you want.”