Ugly, but effective

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Terrence Edwards can play, Chris Brazzell can drive you crazy -- and Troy Westwood can breathe just a tad easier. Maybe.

Those were just a few of the conclusions we came to during last night's home opener for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a game that saw the Bombers beat Montreal, 32-23, but Milt Stegall fall short in his bid for touchdown history.

Try as he might, quarterback Kevin Glenn couldn't find No. 85 in the end zone, so the CFL will have to "interrupt the flow of the game" to honour Stegall another day.

The soap opera swirling around the kicking game took an interesting turn, though.

Safe to say Rob Pikula's Blue Bomber career got off to a rough start.

Auditioning to take the job held by Troy Westwood the last 16 years, with Westwood watching from the sidelines, Pikula botched a couple of early punts, then missed a gimme field goal of 30 yards in the second quarter.

BOOS RAINED DOWN

As some 29,000 boos rained down, Westwood took a call on his cellphone. We can only imagine who was on the other end of the line. Perhaps someone having a little fun at the new guy's expense?

Pikula went on to hit a late 35-yarder, sealing the deal with less than two minutes to go.

Head coach Doug Berry claimed to be satisfied with the 25-year-old's work, but we're guessing this soap still has another episode or two.

Brazzell, the veteran receiver with the now-you-see-them, now-you-don't hands, was having as rough a night as the kicker, at least until he stretched like Gumby to make a touchdown grab late in the first half.

That made up for the dropped passes earlier, but inconsistency isn't Berry's favourite characteristic.

Neither is stupidity. Which is basically what Berry called Jerome Haywood's piling onto Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo, and Tom Canada's penalty for picking the flag out of the pocket of an official.

Step right up and pay your fines, gentlemen.

"You can't have them," Berry said of the brain cramps. "We've got to play smart if we want to be a championship team. We can't play selfishly."

Brazzell's all-thumbs approach was one of a few things about the offence that left you scratching your head early on.

Co-ordinator Kit Cartwright must have been accidentally reading from the Ignore-Your-Best-Players section of the playbook. Because through three possessions the Bombers had run eight plays, all passes, and not one to Stegall, leaving him and running back Charles Roberts as the most talented decoys in CFL history.

Somebody tell Cartwright that Roberts usually averages six yards per carry or better against the Als.

And if you're dead-set against running for some reason, you'd think you would at least involve No. 85.

FINALLY GOT ON THE BOARD

Spotting the Als a 13-0 lead, the Bombers finally got on the board because of the heroics of Greg Bearman, whose hustle on a punt led to a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Everybody in unison: Greg Who?

To be fair, Cartwright eventually got on the right page. Stegall made a couple of catches, Roberts started getting the ball and the Bombers found themselves up, 15-13. From there, they began to roll, led by Edwards, who might be the off-season find of the year.

The former Als receiver, along with Stegall and the smooth-as-silk Derick Armstrong, gives this team its first triple threat in years.

Which brings us to Glenn, whose night was almost as erratic as Brazzell's.

Coming off one of the best games of his career in Edmonton, No. 5 took turns being brilliant, like when he found Edwards for a 62-yard major, and brutal, throwing the ball into the arms of Alouettes defenders three times.

Two of those were picked off, allowing the Als to hang around far too long.

It's a win in the books, though.

And another week of kicker stories and Stegall talk.


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