'Shakespeare' wishes all had ended well

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

They called him Shakespeare in college because all he did was make plays.

Well, Stevie Baggs can make plays in pro, too.

The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Bethune-Cookman College product replaced injured defensive end Gavin Walls (hand) in Friday's CFL match with the B.C. Lions.

Baggs bagged quarterback Jarious Jackson once; pressured him into throwing an interception and recorded two defensive tackles, one for a loss.

"I think I did OK," said Baggs, 25. "In football, your confidence is your biggest thing and the more you play, the more confident you become. The first half, I was definitely nervous. Once I got a little of the anxiety out, I was able to capitalize on some of the things that I can do well. It's all about what the coaches want, to know your job, do your job and make the play. Once that's established, you just go play football.

"I felt great just to have the opportunity to get on the field. But we lost the game and the ultimate thing is to win. Hopefully, we can come back from this, rebound and capitalize on the things we need to do correctly to be successful."

Baggs was caught out of position when Jackson scrambled for a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter and was kicking himself for allowing Jackson to escape from his grasp later in the game.

"It's hard enough to get to this quarterback with these good tackles that you have in this league," he said. "So when you get a grasp on him, you've got to make a play. That's what I pride myself doing anyway."

It is not yet known whether Walls will be available when the Bombers play the Stampeders in Calgary next week.

PIKULA PLEASES: With placekicker Troy Westwood sitting out, Rob Pikula handled both the punting and plackicking chores Friday. He connected on his only field goal and finished the contest with a 39.8-yard punting average.

"I'm really pleased," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "We worked very hard on (punt placement) all week long. In fact, we've been doing it for basically two weeks, changing his technique a little bit, and he responded really well with that.

"The first (punt), we just told him to kick it away, and he hit it. And then, after that, whenever we were punting into the wind and even punting with it, we were trying to control the distance. So, he wasn't out there punting for distance. It was all pretty much controlled."

CUP PREVIEW?: The Bombers are anxious to get another crack at the reigning Grey Cup champion Lions.

"The good thing about (the loss) is we got another game next week," said cornerback Juran Bolden. "This wasn't a game that determined whether we got into the playoffs or not. The only thing I'm disappointed in is that we didn't defend home turf like we were supposed to ... Hats to them guys, they came to play. I look forward to seeing them again. Hopefully. Trust me."

HASHMARKS: WR Derick Armstrong left the game with a calf strain and is officially listed as "day-to-day" ... Bomber QB Kevin Glenn threw one interceptions, not two as reported here yesterday.


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