Bombers guard can't explain costly flinch

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Brendon LaBatte was still trying to figure out what had just happened.

The sophomore Bombers left guard was tagged with an illegal procedure penalty on the second-last play of his team's 19-17 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday night.

The infraction meant Alexis Serna's 42-yard field goal try that could have tied the game at 19-19 became a 47-yarder.

After the Eskimos iced Serna with a timeout, the second-year kicker out of Oregon State missed the kick to the left.

LaBatte owned up to his mistake, but he was unable to explain why it happened.

"I flinched. I was just down in my stance, I was sitting there looking across from me, and for some reason decided to shake my shoulders," LaBatte said.

"I don't know what happened. It was obviously a stupid penalty, there's no doubt about that.

"That's one that you can't be taking when the game's on the line. You definitely feel like a bit of bum for doing it, that's for sure. It's over, it's done with, and I'm going to make sure it don't happen again."

AS FOR MR. SERNA ... The man trying to put a rough rookie campaign behind him didn't get the start he was looking for when his game-tying attempt missed by a few inches.

"You never want to start the season off like that, but I'm just hoping for my next opportunity, though," Serna said.

The Bomber placekicker actually made his first attempt from 47 yards with five seconds left, but the officials ruled that the Esks had called timeout before the snap.

"I just lost focus on the second one and missed it," he said.

Serna also cited a lack of focus as a reason for missing three field goal tries in a win over Edmonton last September.

AILING: Defensive tackle Doug Brown remained in Edmonton yesterday, still reeling from what the Bombers believe is a viral infection.

Brown travelled to Edmonton but didn't play Thursday after suffering a setback, possibly due to all the medication he was taking.

He was advised not to fly home with the team yesterday and will return today or tomorrow.

LATE HITS: Linebacker Joe Lobendahn suffered a shoulder injury against the Esks, and his status for Friday's home-opener is up in the air ... Winnipeg's Mike Renaud punted a whopping 14 times on Thursday for a 36.5-yard average, but it wasn't a Bomber record for most punts in a game. Troy Westwood had 16 boots in a 2003 game at Montreal ... After Shawn Gallant's 20-yard touchdown run following Tristan Jackson's kickoff-return fumble, the Bombers now have special teams majors in three consecutive games dating back to last year ... Stefan LeFors is now 0-6 as a CFL starter.\


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