B.C. Comes Back to Beat Winnipeg 45-42
WINNIPEG, MB. – Just when it looked like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence had done enough to win, B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay stole the show.
With the Bombers leading 42-27 heading into the fourth quarter, Lulay threw a touchdown pass and a two-point convert to Emmanuel Arceneaux, ran for a touchdown himself and then watched as Ty Long kicked a 34-yard field goal with 56 seconds remaining to give the Lions a 45-42 come-from-behind victory.
This was a wild one and another example of why Canadian football can be the most entertaining game around. Granted, it was a game of miscues, turnovers and strange momentum shifts, but that’s what makes Canadian football the rollercoaster rode that it is.
In fact, one of the craziest plays of the game might have changed the outcome of the entire contest.
In the first half, Bombers kicker Justin Medlock, pulled off a successful faked field goal try that eventually led to a Bombers touchdown so in the fourth quarter, with Winnipeg ahead by eight points, Medlock was back to punt but instead tried to throw a pass. This time, the fake failed and the Lions took over at the Bombers 26-yard-line. Two plays later, Lulay carried the ball into the end zone himself and with the two-point conversion to Arceneaux, the game was tied 42-42.
Ultimately, Long kicked the winning field goal and the Bombers had themselves a long, soul-searching flight back to the ‘Peg.
“It was pretty damn exciting for the fans,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea told the CJOB post-game show. “We didn’t play the way we wanted to coming out of the gate but our guys certainly rectified that. The offence caught fire, the defence started stopping them and it turned into a hell of a game.”
Sadly, the defence couldn’t stop Lulay and the Lions in the fourth quarter.
The Lions built a 27-21 halftime lead, but Winnipeg scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 42-27 lead into the final 15-minute segment. That’s when Lulay got the Lions’ offence rolling and outscored the Bombers 18-0 down the stretch to improve to 4-1-0 on the season. With the loss, the Bombers fell to 2-2-0.
It was simply a devastating fourth quarter for Winnipeg. The winning field goal was made possible after Robbie Yell intercepted Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols and returned the ball to the Winnipeg 35 with 1:21 left on the clock.
Then, after two running plays, the Lions’ rookie kicker (he beat out veteran Swayze Waters for the job) booted his third field goal of the night to win it.
The Bombers did have a chance to tie, but with one second left, Medlock’s field goal attempt came up short from 50 yards out.
Lulay was the hero for B.C. He completed 28-of-43 passing attempts for 404 yards with two touchdown passes, a rushing touchdown and two interceptions.
Bryan Burnham racked up a game high 149 yards receiving while Arceneaux had two touchdowns. Jeremiah Johnson and Chris Rainey also scored touchdowns for B.C.
Nichols completed 28-of-36 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns and that one backbreaking interception late in the game. Darvin Adams had two touchdowns for Winnipeg while Clarence Denmark, backup quarterback Dan LeFevour and linebacker Kyle Knox scored touchdowns for Winnipeg.
The Bombers were actually trailing 27-14 in the second quarter and proceeded to stun the crowd at B.C. Place by scoring 28 consecutive points. But that didn’t deter Lulay who took control of the game in the fourth quarter and brought the Lions back from apparent defeat.
The Bombers are now in a real battle in the West with 4-0-0 Edmonton, 4-1-0 B.C. and 2-1-1 Calgary. However, while Winnipeg might be in fourth place now, there are still 14 football games remaining this season and there is always the crossover against a weak Eastern Conference.
The Bombers will play Game 5 of the campaign this coming Thursday night back at the friendly confines of Investors Group Field at 7:30 p.m.
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo by Jeff Miller