All about numbers

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

1-7-4-2.

Those are decent numbers for a golf scorecard, especially if you've never had a hole-in-one before.

They're not so great, however, if you're a quarterback trying to win the backup job for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Brad Banks put up those dismal digits in just more than a quarter of action last night in Winnipeg's 35-23 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the pre-season opener for both CFL squads.

Banks, a four-year CFL vet who supposedly had a leg up on the No. 2 role behind Kevin Glenn going into the game, did not take advantage of that edge in front of 27,078 spectators at Canad Inns Stadium.

Banks completed just one of seven attempts for four yards and two interceptions, the second of which was returned 24 yards for a touchdown. The first pick also turned into seven Hamilton points, and the Ticats needed only two plays to get it.

"I could have done a whole lot better," Banks said. "I failed to do good things out there, but that's what it's about sometimes."

Rookie Justin Holland, on the other hand, looked like the four-year vet in his first CFL appearance and will now get serious consideration for the backup job.

Holland hooked up with Terrence Edwards for a 78-yard major on his second drive, and, despite throwing an interception late in the first half, concluded a 16-play, 94-yard drive in the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown toss to Kerry Johnson -- on third-and-goal, no less.

Holland was good on 12 of 20 attempts for 160 yards.

"It's two games in the pre-season, and I can't go out and play bad next week and expect to have a shot at being No. 2," Holland said. "But I think I made a case tonight, and that's all it was."

Bombers head coach Doug Berry noted that three of Banks' incompletions were drops by receivers but Holland was ultimately the one who produced.

"I know (Holland) moved the team, and that's what we ultimately grade the quarterback on," Berry said. "So we'll make sure his reads are correct before we make any decision on anybody."

Ryan Dinwiddie, a second-year Bomber pivot who joined the team last August, finished off the game and had a so-so outing. Last year's third-stringer completed nine of 18 passes for 91 yards, but he served up two interceptions.

Here's a look at how some of the other Bomber position battles unfolded last night:

IMPORT RECEIVER: Edwards made the most noise thanks to his 78-yard touchdown, and he added a 14-yard catch to finish with 92 yards overall.

Johnson, playing his first game in nearly two years, was no slouch either, making three catches, including the one for the major, for 16 yards.

Albert Johnson III had two drops and left the game with an apparent hamstring injury. Jeremy Carter had three drops (and a nice, sliding grab), while Chris Brazzell put one on the ground.

NON-IMPORT RECEIVER: Arjei Franklin, Jamie Stoddard and Blair Atkinson didn't make life easy on the coaches. Atkinson had three catches for 21 yards, Franklin had two for 32, and Stoddard had two for 12.

WEAK-SIDE LINEBACKER: Kyries Hebert got a gift in the first quarter when Ticats quarterback Shaun King served up a beachball. Hebert made the easy interception and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown. Corey Jenkins, meanwhile, had a pair of tackles.

PUNTER: Former Ticat Pat Fleming gained the upper hand in his battle with CFL rookie Chris Beckman.

Fleming had a 49.8-yard average on four punts, while Beckman had a mark of 41.8 yards on five boots. The bad news for Beckman is he's an American and Fleming is not.


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