October 13, 2012
Bombers lose to Stampeders, 32-21QB Joey Elliott throws 4 INTs, including 3 in the end zone
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - If the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had a sliver of hope when it came to the playoffs before Saturday, it is now the size of a molecule.
The Bombers fell behind 16-0 in the first quarter to the Calgary Stampeders, bounced back to make a game of it, and then ultimately fell 32-21 thanks in large part to eight turnovers at Canad Inns Stadium.
Quarterback Joey Elliott threw four interceptions, including three in the end zone, and is now 0-4 this season against man-to-man coverage teams.
Winnipeg fell to 4-11 and remains two points back of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It is also four points behind Edmonton, which currently holds the crossover.
The Bombers have three games remaining, starting with the Argos on Friday in Toronto. They need to win all of those games and get a lot of help.
The way Hamilton and Edmonton are playing these days, the Bombers would have had a decent chance at the playoffs if they won and the Eskimos lost to the Roughriders later on Saturday.
Instead, they served up another stinker in front of a crowd of 25,462 spectators, which was the smallest Winnipeg crowd since November 2010.
Alex Brink replaced Elliott late in the fourth, trailing 29-14, and promptly hit Matthews with a 27-yard touchdown toss with 1:26 to go, but the Bombers then tried the worst-looking onside kick attempt in football history, giving the ball back to the Stamps.
Winnipeg then made it interesting, however, as Cornish fumbled with 1:18 to go on the Bomber 32-yard line, but Brink fumbled a few plays later at the same spot.
The Bombers held the Stamps to a two-and-out on their first possession of the game, but their inexperience bit them on the ensuing punt when Demond Washington not only let Rob Maver’s boot bounce, but he let the football hit him in the face mask as well.
Calgary recovered the loose ball, and a few plays later Jon Cornish scored the game’s opening touchdown on a three-yard run. It was Washington’s fifth lost fumble of the season.
Jovon Johnson had a great chance to intercept Stamps quarterback Kevin Glenn late in the opening quarter, but he could get only one hand on the ball. If he could’ve hauled it in, there’s a good chance he could’ve returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. The Stamps settled for a 24-yard field goal from Rene Paredes.
On Winnipeg’s next possession, Chad Simpson fumbled. A few plays later, Glenn hit Nik Lewis on second-and-long with a 25-yard touchdown. The Stamps failed to get the convert kick off, however, and took a 16-0 lead.
The Bombers had three plays on offence in the first quarter and two turnovers. Calgary had the ball for 13:26 of the opening 15 minutes, and Winnipeg has been outscored 120-31 in the first quarter this season.
It got better in the second quarter, as the Bombers went on a penalty-aided drive that ate up five minutes and resulted in Simpson’s eight-yard touchdown run that got the home team on the board.
The Stamps responded with another long drive, but they once again had to settle for a Paredes field goal, this time from 29 yards out, that gave Calgary a 19-7 advantage.
The Bombers didn’t quit, though, and marched down the field. Along the way Chris Matthews became the first Bomber rookie to reach 1,000 yards. Simpson’s second touchdown of the game, from 11 yards out, cut Calgary’s lead to 19-14.
Once again, though, the veteran-laden Stamps answered. They picked on Johnson all the way down the field and capped their drive with Marquay McDaniel’s 10-yard touchdown grab that gave Calgary a 26-14 lead at the half.
The Bombers were threatening to get to within five points again midway through the third, but quarterback Joey Elliott, who struggles against man-to-man coverage, was picked off in the end zone by Keon Raymond for the second time in two games.
Winnipeg got the ball back again and Elliott moved the ball thanks to Simpson, but the quarterback was picked off for the second time deep in Calgary territory, this time by Eric Fraser.
Then, proving the third time is no charm, Elliott was picked off in the end zone by Fred Bennett.
Paredes, who was in Bomber training camp last year, added 27- and 26-yard field goals for the Stamps, who improved to 9-6 and are still in the hunt for first place in the West Division.
Elliott completed 22 of 33 attempts for 284 yards and the four interceptions. Glenn was good on 21 of 29 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns.
Jade Etienne, meanwhile, made his first career catch late in the fourth. He was playing for an injured Rory Kohlert.
Follow along as the Bombers host the Stampeders at Canad Inns Stadium. Winnipeg Sun sports editor Ted Wyman leads the charge and the Sun sports team will be on hand to break down every moment of play.