Friday, June 5, 2020

2020 Week 2: 1995 Baltimore at 2019 Winnipeg

As was the case in quite a few of their games last year, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had a game that was a tale of two halves. The first half was a walkover on a stunned Stallions club, who lost Tracy Ham on their first offensive snap and could not find a way to get moving under backup Shawn Jones. The Bombers had no trouble moving, putting up a touchdown before Baltimore even touched the ball. Darvin Adams and Kenny Lawler had big gains on Matt Nichols passes, and Andrew Harris put the ball into the end zone from five yards out for the early advantage. After a Baltimore 2 and out, the Bombers put up three more as Justin Medlock connected from 35 yards out. Baltimore finally obtained a first down, but the rest of the quarter saw the teams trade punts.

Andrew Harris started the second quarter off with a bang, going 63 yards on a carry to put the Bombers in scoring range again, and he would put the finishing touches on the drive from 2 yards out, and all of a sudden, the Bombers were up 17. Another 2 and out from Baltimore gave the Bombers the ball back, and they ground down the Stallions defense again with Harris scoring from 5 yards out after carries of 14 and 20 on the drive, and it looked to all the world like a blowout was in progress.

Late in the quarter, a pass interference penalty gave Baltimore a bit of life, and Carlos Huerta hit a 25 yard field goal at the end of the half to get the Stallions on the scoreboard. That would be the beginning of Winnipeg mistakes, but not the end by any means. On the opening drive of the second half, driving for another potential score, Matt Nichols was picked off by Chris Johnson to end the threat, and the Stallions would pick up a single point on their drive, with Carlos Huerta missing a field goal. Winnipeg then ate some clock but ran out of gas just out of field goal range, and the teams would trade punts to end the third quarter.

With 11 minutes to play, the 20 point Winnipeg lead was starting to look safe, but a botched snap deep in Winnipeg territory was scooped up by Tracy Gravely, and Baltimore pounded the rock in for their first major of the day. They would not make the two point conversion, but all of a sudden, the Stallions were back in it at 24-10.

No matter, the Bombers were driving again looking for a putaway score when Andrew Harris fumbled on the Baltimore side of midfield, killing another potential scoring drive for the Bombers. After a few punts back and forth, Winnipeg had to punt it back, but a bobbled snap had Justin Medlock rushing a kick, and the ball went out of bounds on the Winnipeg side of midfield with 3:40 to go. Shawn Jones finally got into rhythm, hitting Reggie Perry and Shannon Culver for big gains before Mike Pringle scored from 5 yards out to bring Baltimore within a touchdown. Winnipeg was able to eat all but 10 seconds off the game clock, but Justin Medlock missed from 49, and the ensuing return out of the end zone gave Baltimore one last chance from their 34. Shawn Jones looked to pass, was flushed out of the pocket, and flipped the ball back to Mike Pringle, who had been attempting to block on the play. Pringle reversed field and had open space in front of him, but was finally cornered at the Winnipeg 25. He lateraled back to Chris Armstrong, but Armstrong was tripped up as he tried to cut back across the field, and the game ended.

Winnipeg now travels to 1-1 Toronto and the surprisingly 0-2 Stallions stay home to host the Gold Miners.

Click here for Game Stats

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