Serna on the bubble

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:28 AM ET

HAMILTON — Alexis Serna has had better nights.

He’s probably hoping he simply has more nights — good or bad — with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in his future.

The third-year placekicker out of Oregon State continued to struggle on Saturday night in Steeltown, missing two easy field goals in the second half that swung the game’s momentum in Hamilton’s favour.

“No matter what, I gotta put the kick through,” said Serna, who had trouble with the left-to-right wind. “I play in one of the windiest cities, so I gotta know how to adjust to all of that.

“They were mis-hits, and I can’t be doing that. I contributed to the loss, and it’s tough to kind of handle that.”

Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice said the team will be bringing in competition to either push Serna or take his job.

“Absolutely. We have to have faith,” LaPolice said, before couching his statement slightly. “We’ll research all those issues, but as usual every week we evaluate every position, and if we can make a change to make things better, we will.”

LaPolice and GM Joe Mack have shown no hesitation in releasing players who underperform, and Serna would have to be considered in that group.

One option is former Toronto Argonauts placekicker Justin Medlock, who is still hoping to land an NFL job after failed tryouts in Washington and Detroit. Another kicker the Bombers had on their radar recently, according to a CFL source, is Chris Gould, the younger brother of Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould.

Serna hit a 19-yarder in the first quarter with the wind mostly behind his back, but he couldn’t figure out the tough left-to-right breeze he faced in the second quarter.

He badly missed a 32-yard attempt first, and Ticats returner Marcus Thigpen inexplicably brought it out to his own one-yard line.

That bad field position, along with an unnecessary roughness penalty, allowed the Bombers to start on the Ticats’ 39-yard line. The drive moved a few yards, and Serna came on to try a 28-yarder.

He was closer, but the ball still drifted to the right and missed. It went through the end zone, giving the Bombers a 7-3 lead that should have been a 12-3 advantage.

On Hamilton’s next drive, Matt Carter scored his first touchdown on a nine-yard catch from Kevin Glenn to give the hosts a 10-7 lead.

Winnipeg got to Hamilton’s 40-yard line on their first drive of the second half, but LaPolice opted to punt instead and the ball went into the end zone for a single.

HURT DEPARTMENT: The Bombers lost left tackle Andre Douglas to an right knee or ankle injury in the first quarter, and he didn’t return.

Canadian Luke Fritz finished the contest at left tackle.

Slotback Brock Ralph also left the game on a couple of occasions with a hip flexor problem, but he came back both times.

LATE HITS: Bernard Hicks had four tackles in his CFL debut at strong-side linebacker. He was closest to Dave Stala on his game-winning touchdown, but the Bombers were in a man-zone combination coverage … Deon Beasley had two kickoff returns that went an average of 29.5 yards in his pro debut … Bomber tailback Fred Reid came oh so close to hitting the century mark for the first time in nearly a year, carrying the ball 12 times for 98 yards … Adarius Bowman had his first big game of the year, making six catches for 139 yards and a touchdown … The Bombers had 13 penalties for 100 yards.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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