EDMONTON -- The point of the exercise, of course, was for a player to prove himself worthy enough to either start or continue his CFL career.
But the real focus was on the Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterbacks when they took to the field against the Eskimos in a pre-season match before an announced crowd of 37,246 at Commonwealth Stadium last night.
BOMBERS 20 ESKIMOS 20
And, truth to be told, they were really nothing to write home about as the Bombers fought to a 20-20 tie. But give Spergon Wynn a slight edge because he engineered a touchdown drive in his first appearance, even if it was only a penalty-aided 29-yard drive. Fullback Scott Regimbald finished it off by bulling his way in from one yard out. Unofficially, Wynn completed three of six passes for 25 yards and had one picked off after the ball tipped off the fingertips of slotback Keith Stokes. Slotback Wane McGarity also dropped a long pass that had been perfectly laid into his hands.
Wynn, however, failed to take advantage of a Shawn Gallant interception at the Edmonton 25 and the Bombers had to settle for a 26-yard Troy Westwood field goal.
Kevin Glenn, who has already been deemed the club's starting quarterback when the season begins, had better stats but had little to show for it. But he did not seem to play with the same poise he has shown throughout training camp. Unofficially, Glenn completed five of 10 tosses for 65 yards and two interceptions (although one was actually negated by an Edmonton penalty). The other pick bounced off two of his own receivers. (This observer had Glenn at four for seven for 64 yards and one pick.)
Russ Michna engineered a 73-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter, finishing it with a 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dimitrius Breedlove. And he was the quarterback of record when Westwood booted a 24-yard go-ahead field goal with 41 seconds left -- only to watch Sean Fleming tie it with a 30-yard three-pointer on the last play of the game.
Tee Martin was left at home, nursing a knee injury.
The most impressive quarterback in the game was actually Edmonton's Ricky Ray, who picked apart the Bomber secondary with the same precision that Jason Maas did when he set a club record versus Winnipeg last season. Ray completed nine of 12 passes for 115 yards before Bomber defensive end Marcus Jones knocked him out of the game with what is suspected to be a hyper-extended knee.
Former Bomber quarterback Khari Jones, who replaced Ray, looked shaky at first. But he did lead Edmonton's only TD drive of the opening 30 minutes, capping it off with a four-yard toss to running back Elvis Joseph with six ticks on the clock. Jason Johnson mopped up.
Fleming connected on field goals of 17 and 18 yards in the first half while Chris Brewer punted a 48-yard single.
Maas, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery, only hit the field to hold for Fleming on placekicks.
Winnipeg will play host to the Eskimos next Thursday.