Best-laid plans sometimes fail to produce desired results

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:23 PM ET

Despite Friday night's crucial win over the Montreal Alouettes, many Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans were questioning some of the team's late-game moves.

Aside from head coach Jim Daley's failed gamble on third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter that jump-started Montreal's offence, folks were wondering why Troy Westwood had a 26-yard kickoff with a minute and a half remaining and why the Bombers didn't eat up as much of the clock as they could in the final 30 seconds.

As for Westwood's kick, the game plan was to keep the ball away from Montreal kick returner Ezra Landry, and it worked, as the 5-foot-4 speedster had just three punt and kick returns for 27 yards and a fumble on a missed field goal return.

After Winnipeg had taken a 51-44 lead with 1:41 remaining, Westwood was trying to boot the ball to Montreal's 30-yard line, but it ended up at midfield.

CAME CLOSE

"It's not always easy to do," Daley said. "We came close a couple of times, and a couple of times the ball was not exactly where we wanted it, and that was one of them."

Then, after Justin Coleman had intercepted Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo with 34 seconds remaining, the Bombers decided to kneel deep in their own zone.

However, on third down and with the clock running, the Bombers inexplicably snapped the ball with 13 seconds left on the play clock.

Punter Jon Ryan scrambled around the end zone and gave up the safety, but the Alouettes got the ball on their 35-yard line with 12 seconds left.

"The 20-second clock, being in the far right corner about 140 yards away, and with people in the field of vision, the player who's counting it down read it as one second," Daley said.

"It was (actually) 13 seconds, because he couldn't see.

"We were supposed to snap the ball at about three seconds, then Jon would run around and go down."

GIBSON'S FINEST: Winnipeg's 51 points tied for the second-most Montreal has surrendered since returning to the CFL as the Alouettes in 1996.

Daley gave kudos to Bombers offensive co-ordinator Mike Gibson, who scoured two years of game tape featuring teams who had success against the Als.

"A lot of it was stuff that we then incorporated into our game plan (Friday) night," Daley said. "The game plan by Mike Gibson was phenomenal."

IT HURTS: LB Lamar McGriggs (pectoral) and LS Chris Cvetkovic (concussion) were injured Friday night, but both are expected to be ready for next Monday's game in Toronto.


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