Pierce shines in Bombers win

Bombers linebacker Thaine Carter tackles Montreal Alouettes running back Corey Council during CFL...

Bombers linebacker Thaine Carter tackles Montreal Alouettes running back Corey Council during CFL action on June 13, 2010. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:53 PM ET

When Winnipeg’s first play from scrimmage broke down, Buck Pierce took off.

The play ended four yards later, when Alouettes defensive lineman Darrell Campbell tackled the Bomber quarterback.

It wasn’t a big hit, but it was contact nonetheless and Pierce didn’t slide. He hopped right back up and proceeded to march the Bombers 104 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

Pierce went on to throw for 105 yards and a major in just more than a quarter of action to propel the Bombers to a 34-10 win over the Montreal Alouettes in CFL pre-season action at Canad Inns Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Winnipeg’s Paul LaPolice, who celebrated his 40th birthday on Saturday, downplayed the result in his first game as a pro head coach.

“We need to be very humble,” LaPolice said. “I don’t think they had a starter here on either side of the football.”

LaPolice’s best birthday present was probably the fact that Pierce also ran three times for 34 yards and didn’t suffer any dire consequences, all but solidifying his job as Winnipeg’s No. 1 quarterback in front of 28,792 spectators.

Pierce also got smacked when he gunned for the end zone at the end of Winnipeg’s first drive. He even hit the back of his head on the turf when he went down, but he popped right back up.

“I did want to score when I got down there on the one-yard line, like everybody in this room,” said Pierce, who found Brock Ralph on a 26-yard touchdown toss late in the first quarter. “But it’s good for me, gives confidence to me that I can get out there and still run, and still have that part of my game.”

The other three Bomber quarterbacks saw action, although none was as effective as Pierce. Projected backup Steven Jyles, who had a quarter-plus of work, was good on two of eight attempts for 42 yards and had an interception. On the other hand, he had five carries for a team-high 54 yards.

“Buck did a great job,” Jyles said. “He got out there and moved the ball. He made plays with his feet when he needed to, and he made some good throws. You always want to get out there and perform. But we’re two different guys. He moved the ball, and I moved the ball.”

Jyles would’ve had a 47-yard touchdown pass to Adarius Bowman, but last year’s leading receiver dropped the ball in the end zone.

Adam DiMichele gained the edge on Alex Brink in the battle for the No. 3 job, completing five of seven attempts for 91 yards.

Brink attempted two passes, and Cory Watson and Jabari Arthur dropped them.

“It’s part of the game is what it is,” Brink said of his bad luck. “I felt like I went to the right place with the football. I felt like I made good throws. At this point, that’s what you can ask for.”

Fred Reid scored on a four-yard run to cap Pierce’s 104-yard drive, while Daryl Stephenson and Emmanuel Marc both had one-yard rushing touchdowns. Alexis Serna booted 48- and 28-yard field goals.

Here are a few first-year Bombers who stood out on Sunday:

— Import receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris had a drop but still led Winnipeg in receiving with three catches for 54 yards;

— Weak-side linebacker Marty Bowman made his presence felt, finishing with four tackles;

— Kelly Butler, a 6-foot-8, 350-pound right tackle, looked just as good in the game as he did during practice. Not only that, but the man he’s likely competing against for a starting spot, fellow import Glenn January, suffered a shoulder injury on the game’s first drive and didn’t return.

— Canadian linebacker Thaine Carter was all over the place on special teams, making four tackles.

LATE HITS: The Bombers play their second and final pre-season game on Sunday in Hamilton … Some of the notables who didn’t play for Winnipeg were Doug Brown, Jovon Johnson and Terrence Edwards.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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