Slow start kills Blue

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Their Blue funk continued, at least for the first half.

Although it came to life in the latter half, the Winnipeg offence was stuck in second gear, coughing and sputtering throughout the first 30 minutes.

The Blue Bombers only managed to score four points in the first two quarters in a CFL contest played in their own ballpark last night.

With the wind gusting to 33 km/h and rain sweeping down, Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn completed eight of 13 passes but only gained 100 yards. And only a dropped interception by B.C. defen sive back Ryan Phillips prevented a defensive touchdown in the first quarter.

The Bombers finished the first half with an anemic 150 yards.

What was most unforgiveable, though, was that the Bombers blew a first-and-10 situation from the B.C. one in the first quarter. After two runs, they lost two yards and had to settle for a 10-yard field goal by kicker Rob Pikula. Winnipeg's only other point came from Pikula's 78-yard punt single.

Last week, the Bombers only managed 183 yards total offence in inclement weather in its 21-19 victory over Hamilton. The week before, the offence scored only two points in the first half as the Bombers fell behind 21-2 to Toronto. Winnipeg got untracked in the second half, but only after the Argos had taken an insurmountable 31-2 lead.

"I just felt like that second quarter was long because we were going into the wind," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "We lost a possession in the first quarter because of the kickoff thing, so we never really had much momentum to get started with in the first half and I just knew that we'd get it going in the second half because I knew we were capable of it."

The Lions recovered the opening kickoff when the Bombers failed to jump on a bouncing ball.

"We got in scoring position, and we got pushed out by penalties," Glenn countered. "It wasn't a slow start.

"When you're going in to score and you get inside the 20 and you're taking penalties, it's tough. That's beating yourself."

A pair of holding penalties negated promising drives in the first half.

But the attack livened up in the second half when the Bombers out-scored B.C. 16-7 and came within one fumble of tying the score (with a two-point convert).

Glenn wound up completing 21 of 32 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions. Bomber tailback Charles Roberts had 19 carries for 104 yards while wide receiver Terrence Edwards caught six passes for 84 yards and a TD.

LATE HITS: Winnipeg receiver Derick Armstrong suffered a calf injury. The extent of the injury was unknown ... Defensive back Davin Bush was suffering from leg cramps during the game and is expected to be fine ... Glenn has 4,208 passing yards this season, marking the first time in his career he ecslipsed 4,000 yards in a season.


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