WINNIPEG -- This is supposed to be Friendly Manitoba.
The way quarterbacks were treated Thursday night at Canad Inns Stadium, Mean Manitoba would better describe it.
Fortunately for the Calgary Stampeders, their QB managed to make it through to the end of a 21-20 victory.
The Blue Bombers weren’t so lucky, and they are a bit steamed about it, even though there were late hits on pivots from both defences.
Buck Pierce was forced to leave at halftime due to a quad injury, apparently suffered on a hit from Robert McCune, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
“It’s (bleeping) ridiculous,” said Bombers right tackle Glenn January.
“A team comes out there and their main goal is to take out a quarterback by hitting him late — you’d think in this league you’d have a certain amount of professionalism.
“I witnessed a couple things tonight I didn’t expect out of those guys. They got flagged. Maybe the league needs to take a look at it and figure out if they’re fineable offences. It’s no coincidence. That’s not a classy way to play football.”
The Bombers did their share of quarterback pounding, too, and not much of it was legal.
As usual, Odell Willis was a big offender.
Willis extended a Stamps’ drive for a field goal in the third quarter by lowering the boom on starter Henry Burris.
“Odell says he’s not doing it on purpose, but I think he’s trying to hit me late,” Burris said.
“He’s a good buddy, and they come hard. He’s a great player. To me, he’s one of the best defensive ends in this league.”
Burris was constantly harassed and manhandled by the Bombers, and the defence created some havoc. In the first half, the reckless Willis came flying around the outside and knocked the ball loose from Burris’ right hand before he could release the ball.
On the next drive, a gang of Blue defenders swarmed Burris, sending his helmet flying in the process of a huge sack. Willis, trying maybe to prove he’s a nice guy between plays, retrieved the lid and gave it back.
How sweet. The pleasantries didn’t last long.
Even the usually clean Doug Brown got into the action, as the huge defensive lineman ripped Burris’ helmet off early in third quarter but didn’t get a penalty.
Clint Kent didn’t get away with his infraction. Burris scrambled and slid for a short gain, but Kent lowered the shoulder right at the pivot’s head to take an unnecessary roughness call.
“It hurts when you take them, but it’s part of the game,” Burris said. “When you have a team that plays hard like they do, it’s going to happen.”
Safety Demetrice Morley made his debut for the Stamps … Stamps OL Dimitri Tsoumpas returned after missing two games with a hamstring injury … Bombers DB Alex Suber had to leave off the opening kickoff after swallowing his mouthguard … The Stamps scratched DB Greg Fassitt, OL Tony Washington, OL J’Micheal Deane and R Landan Talley … With Talley out, Stamps R Johnny Forzani was the second returner on kickoffs … The Bombers scratched OL Chris Kowalczuk, OL Kelly Butler, Arrington Hicks and R Greg Carr.