Bombers show some promise in loss

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

Head coach Doug Berry's debut ended with a loss.

ALOUETTES 25 BOMBERS 24

Several Winnipeg Blue Bomber newcomers -- for purely selfish reasons -- probably didn't feel the same way about their own.

Winnipeg quarterback Mike Quinn threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Quentin McCord, and Gavin Walls had a 35-yard fumble return for a major, but the Montreal Alouettes escaped with a 25-24 win over the Bombers last night at Canad Inns Stadium in the CFL exhibition opener for both squads.

The pre-season, however, is more about individual performances than winning or losing, and last night there were many Bomber hopefuls who made a case to stay.

Berry is expected to trim his 82-man roster today, and here are some of the highlights and lowlights he will surely remember from last night's game:

THE GOOD

- Running back Henri Childs had a 21-yard run in the first quarter and a 31-yarder in the first half. He finished with eight carries for 82 yards and had one catch for 13 yards. He did, however, have a fumble.

- McCord, who has looked great in camp, looked even better on the field, hauling in a 24-yard touchdown toss from Mike Quinn in the second quarter.

- Ron Ockimey, battling for the weak side linebacker spot, had Winnipeg's only sack of the night on a blitz.

- Cornerback Omar Evans cemented himself in his starting spot with a first-quarter interception of Nealon Greene.

- Quinn completed five of nine passes for 65 yards and had the only touchdown pass among the four quarterbacks.

- Non-import linebacker Adrian Baird had a slick tackle for a loss in the fourth quarter and added a bone rattler on special teams.

- Running back Tellis Redmon had a few sound carries in the second half.

THE NOT SO GOOD

- Childs' night would have been perfect were it not for a fumble on his third carry of the game.

- The secondary allowed Greene to complete three of his first four passes for 63 yards. Anthony Malbrough got beat for 39 yards on the first play from scrimmage, although it should be noted that Als receiver Thyron Anderson did make a great grab.

- Not many players in the secondary could say they didn't get beat last night.

- Malbrough had more trouble in the first half, this time while trying to return a punt. He tried to field the ball deep in his own zone, but it bounced off his fingertips. The Als recovered and took it two yards into the end zone.

- McCord had a great chance to catch a long pass from Banks in the third, but he fell down and the ball hit him in the face mask.

BATTLE CLOSE-UPS

- Punting -- Troy Westwood had a 40.8-yard average, while import Brian Claybourn had a 43.3-yard mark.

- Placekicking -- Westwood booted a 40-yarder and a 17-yarder, and import Kirk Yliniemi drilled a 30-yarder.

- Non-import receiver -- Darryl Ray made a pair of solid catches in tight coverage, rookie draft pick Arjei Franklin caught all three balls thrown his way for 25 yards, and Scott Robinson had a spectacular, 21-yard grab in the fourth.

- Safety -- No one really stood out until late in the third quarter, when incumbent starter Shawn Gallant picked off Scott McBrien.

LATE HITS: Last night's contest, played in front of 27,573 spectators, also featured the first instant replay challenge in CFL history. Montreal coach Don Matthews challenged the ruling on Walls' touchdown, contesting that Greene's fumble was actually a pass attempt. He didn't win the appeal.


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