LeFors leads Bombers

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

So maybe this Stefan LeFors guy can play quarterback after all.

The man brought in by new head coach Mike Kelly during the off-season to run the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence looked solid last night in the team's pre-season opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

LeFors completed five of eight passes for 98 yards in his one quarter of action, and pass interference penalties on a pair of his throws led to two one-yard touchdown plunges by rookie running back Lavarus Giles.

The LeFors-led offence built up a 19-0 lead in the first 15 minutes, and the Bombers held on for a 32-22 victory over the Tiger-Cats in front of 27,742 spectators at Canad Inns Stadium.

"Stef was Stef," Kelly said. "That's what I've been trying to tell everybody since February, and nobody seemed to want to listen. He played within himself, and he delivered the ball expeditiously and guided us very well."

LeFors doesn't have anything to worry about, but there are a couple dozen Bombers who are going to have butterflies in their stomachs for the next 24 hours. Kelly plans to cut approximately 15 players to get down to 60 by tomorrow.

"It was a good practice," Kelly said. "I'm not going to get overly excited about an exhibition game, but I think a lot of kids played very well tonight and will make our decision-making process pretty tough over the next 48 hours.

"I don't want to get rid of any of these guys. These guys have been absolutely terrific, and they showed it tonight."

Winnipeg's second and final pre-season game is Tuesday night in Montreal.

The devil's advocate will point out that the Ticats left six starters at home and that last night was only the first pre-season game, but LeFors made a good first impression nonetheless.

"(The skeptics) will probably find something wrong with what we did, but really what matters is what goes on in this room," LeFors said. "We know the things that we did were positive, but we also had some things that kind of went wrong but we'll fix that."

The other three Bomber quarterbacks, who are the pivots actually fighting for jobs, put forth decent performances as well.

Bryan Randall, the only returning pivot from the Doug Berry era, had the best outing. He didn't have much going until he hit Romby Bryant with a 52-yard pass to Hamilton's three-yard line. Randall then showed off fine footwork on a one-yard touchdown jaunt two plays later. He was 4-for-7 for 82 yards.

"I felt like I prepared myself to go out there and to play well and hopefully make a tough decision on the coaches," Randall said. "If I've done that tonight, then I did my job."

James Kilian was 3-for-3 for 13 yards but got sacked three times (including once in the end zone), while Richie Williams was good on five of 10 attempts for 71 yards against his former team.

Kilian and Williams both mustered three points on Serna 40- and 17-yard field goals. Serna also had an 11-yard touchdown, and the Ticats conceded a safety.

Defensively, the Bombers pitched a shutout in the first half, taking a 26-0 lead to the locker-room.

"I saw 12 gold helmets around the ball a lot," Kelly said. "We're taking baby steps, but we are getting it pointed in the direction that we want to go."

A pair of punt-return fumbles by Ramonce Taylor and John Eubanks in the second half let the Ticats get back in it, but seven points was as close as Hamilton got.


Videos

Photos