QB an instant hero

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Quick, call the Hollywood script writers.

Winnipeg quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie became an instant hero -- the Messiah, Batman even, all wrapped in one.

Dinwiddie, who started his first CFL regular-season game for the Blue Bombers, pulled what looked like a certain fifth straight loss out of the abyss in the dying seconds.

The Boise State product, who replaced incumbent Kevin Glenn, completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Romby Bryant with 12 seconds left to beat the Calgary Stampeders 32-28 last night -- Winnipeg's first win of the current campaign.

And bedlam reigned.

Adding an extra clause to the script was the way Dinwiddie gathered his troops on the sidelines for a Knute Rockne speech during the waning moments of the match.

"He said there's going to be one more drive for the offence, whether it's to seal the deal or come back to win it and we'd better get our minds ready for that drive," disclosed receiver Arjei Franklin. "And it was the latter of the two but we came together and made it happen."

Franklin made an incredible grab for a 27-yard gain on that last drive, setting up Bryant's game-winner.

The Stamps had just scored a TD to take a 28-25 lead.

Dinwiddie then took the ball at his own 36 with 41 seconds left and completed three straight passes, including the capper to Bryant.

For QBs in that situation, it doesn't get much better than that.

Just as the coaches, players, fans, mascots and the girls selling 50-50s had hoped, Dinwiddie provided an immediate spark to a squad that had been floundering at 0-4.

Not only did the Boise State product complete 24 of 39 for 450 yards and one gigantic TD, his enthusiasm was contagious.

"This is what I was hoping would happen, where the other guys would say, 'We've got to step our game up,'" said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "And they stepped up for Ryan. Ryan did perform well but a lot of that had to do with some fabulous catches."

Dinwiddie also ran for 26 yards on just six carries, an element that Glenn seldom adds as he is restricted by a knee brace.

So, no one has to ask who will start for the Bombers when they take on the Argos in Toronto next week.

"Probably not," Berry replied with a smirk.

Yet, there are still a lot of warts that need to be removed.

While there were no calls to replace the quarterback, no one would have been surprised to hear a demand for Troy Westwood in the first quarter. After all, new placekicker Alexis Serna whiffed on two straight, relatively-easy field goals within the 40. Instead of a 6-0 Winnipeg lead, it was 2-0. Ugh.

Serna was booed as he left the field after the second miss and yes, head coach Doug Berry got in his ear the same way he used to chew out Westwood.

Serna then made four straight before missing his third one of the night, and finished 5-of-8.

The Bombers were also guilty of taking some stupid penalties at the most inopportune times. One negated a 74-yard touchdown by Terrence Edwards.

And we almost hate to say it because the Little Big Man has played so many great games for the Bombers, there may soon be a call to replace Charles (Blink) Roberts. The tailback had his fourth straight sub-par performance. Roberts rushed for only 36 yards on 14 carries.

And, at the end, it looked like the defence had failed to hold the Calgary offence at a critical time, allowing the Stamps to take a 28-25 lead in the waning moments.

But that just set up Dinwiddie's heroics.

The bottom line is that Dinwiddie fanned the dying embers of a struggling squad that can now use those flames to guide them through the tunnel.


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