Monday, June 15, 2020

Week 3: 2019 Winnipeg at 1991 Toronto

Winnipeg is a team that is good at grinding out games, but three lightning strikes in the first quarter by the special teams and defense put the Bombers up 20-0 early in a game they'd slowly put away. The first strike came from Janarion Grant, as he returned a Hank Ilesic punt 89 yards to open the scoring. The Bombers defense then took over late in the first quarter, as back to back Toronto offensive plays became pick sixes, with Winston Rose stealing an out route for an easy 31 yard return, and then Jeff Hecht intercepting a bomb intended for Rocket Ismail and weaving through a mass of humanity for a 94 yard return.

After a quiet second quarter, which ended when the Bombers blocked an Argos field goal, the Argos came back in the third, mounting a rally that resulted in a 21-14 score early in the fourth quarter. The Bombers did make the Argos work for it, with long drives and short touchdown runs by Pinball Clemons and Kevin Smellie ending the drives, but the feelings of "No lead is safe" didn't last long, as the Bombers chewed up most of the fourth quarter on time consuming drives. A two score lead was re-established after the 3 minute warning with a Justin Medlock field goal, and then Jeff Hecht and Marcus Sayles ended any chance of a Toronto comeback with interceptions.

The Bombers offense wasn't impressive on paper, but it did just enough to keep the team in front. Andrew Harris was limited to 67 yards on the ground and Matt Nichols completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Matt Dunigan threw for 336 yards, but the four interceptions were back breakers.

Winnipeg heads home to face the 1981 Eskimos in a battle for first place, and the Argos get ready to travel to Sacramento to face the Gold Miners.

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