Dinwiddie dazzles Ticats

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

HAMILTON -- If nothing else, Doug Berry and his Winnipeg Blue Bombers leave here knowing they are covered in the event of a Kevin Glenn injury.

Ryan Dinwiddie, who went a long way toward planting that seed in everyone's mind a year ago at the Grey Cup when he outplayed eventual Grey Cup winner Kerry Joseph in the championship game, cemented those thoughts last night with his solid play over 21/2 quarters in an eventual 12-10 loss to the host Tiger- Cats.

Dinwiddie, whose night's work ended four minutes into the third quarter with his team leading 9-6, was good on 15 of 19 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.

His touchdown drive at the tail end of the first half covered 70 yards in just over two minutes and ended with a three-yard completion to a wide-open Aaron Fairooz coming across the end zone.

The third-year Bomber actually engineered two touchdown drives but had one taken away when second-year running back Fred Reid fumbled the ball on an attempted one-yard dive into the Hamilton end zone five minutes into the second quarter.

Even Dinwiddie's backup last night, rookie Bryan Randall was getting praise from his head coach.

"I got a whole lot from that game," Berry said. "I'm real comfortable with our quarterback situation. I like the way Dinwiddie did things. We were in a no-huddle offence at the end of the first half and he took us down for a score. It wasn't his fault that we fumbled the ball at the goal line. Backup Bryan Randall I thought played real well. I was real happy with him and that was the reason I switched over to Cleve McCoy at the end of the game."

Outside of Hamilton backup quarterback Timmy Chang, who seems to be making a habit of coming up big in pre-season games against the Bombers, Dinwiddie was the only other player on either team's offence that seemed to be able to find his rhythm for any length of time.

Dinwiddie feels it's just a continuation of the way he has been performing since training camp opened.

"I've got a lot of confidence right now," Dinwiddie said. "I feel real well. I feel like I've had a good camp and I'm just going to keep getting better."

Chang, who came off the bench during a pre-season game against the Bombers last year to steal a victory, did it again last night.

His 75-yard drive at the end of the third quarter turned out to be the winning drive as Tre Smith went across the goal line from five yards out to give the Ticats a 12-9 lead.

Berry, who left the vast majority of his starters in Winnipeg, was pleased with just about every part of the Bombers' game with the exception of the kicking portion.

"We still have some issues there that we need to evaluate and address," Berry said.

Up next for the Bombers are the Montreal Alouettes in the second and final pre-season game of the season next Thursday. Berry said last night's tilt will go a long way to determining who is still around for that one.

"Now we get the vets going," Berry said. "We'll pick out the top guys from [last night] and say there is the competition for the vets and that's what is going to happen next week. I told these guys there is nothing they could do. If they played their hearts out, then that's your best and when we watch the film it's either going to be good enough or it's not."


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