Deja vu for Buck, Bombers

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 AM ET

You could see it coming from a mile away. Or at least, from the equivalent of 45 rows up on the west side, where the vultures of the press were perched.

Blue Bomber quarterback Buck Pierce was taking a beating against the Calgary Stampeders, and it was only a matter of time.

Sure enough, about 20 minutes after I posted a tweet to that effect, Thursday night, we got the news every Bomber fan dreaded to hear: Pierce was done. For the night, we were told. Quad injury.

And it's deja vu for the Big Blue.

Week 3, just like last season.

A loss, too -- 21-20 -- although the Bombers are still 2-1.

Whether or not this turns into a downward spiral of injuries to Winnipeg's Great White Hope, and to his team, as it did a year ago, remains to be seen.

Quad muscles, we presume, aren't as delicate as knee and elbow joints.

That's the good news.

The bad news is Pierce continues to be exposed to hellacious hits nobody should be subjected to, let alone a quarterback with No. 4's injury history -- and importance to the Bombers.

The Stamps defence actually scored a headhunting hat trick on this night.

The first shot saw Charleston Hughes hogtie a scrambling Pierce like a calf at the Calgary Stampede, throwing him down and bouncing his head off the turf.

Next up was Demetrice Morley, who took aim at Pierce so long after let threw a pass Pierce had probably decided on his next play.

The word is obviously out: take out Pierce, and you take out the Bombers.

Then came the finisher in the second quarter, another late shot that cost the Stamps 15 yards -- and the Bombers a helluva lot more.

Scrambling to his right, Pierce let go of a pass and tried to miss Calgary D-lineman Robert McCune, who was approaching like a torpedo.

Pierce's quad took the brunt, and while he finished the first half, he couldn't answer the ball for the second, the Bombers clinging to an 11-7 edge.

Enter Joey Elliott.

And exit the two points.

Not for a lack of trying, though.

As Bomber staffers were shielding Pierce from the sideline cameras, at one point even telling TSN, the CFL's host broadcaster, to buzz off, Elliott actually led his team to a touchdown drive.

That got the nearly 28,000 fired up, but not nearly as fired up as they were when Elliott almost did it again in the final minute, the Bombers trailing by a point.

The Bombers actually lined up for a 44-yard field goal in the dying seconds, but the stiff wind was too much for Justin Palardy, capping a wild, crazy night that saw the Winnipeg defence nearly will the team to victory.

A force of nature the first two weeks, the defence rattled the Stamps like a hurricane, pitching a virtual shutout in the first 30 minutes

Odell Willis and rookie Kenny Mainor, playing his first game in blue and gold, took turns introducing themselves to Smilin' Hank Burris, presumably wiping that ever-present smile off the face of the Stamps pivot by half-time.

The way Winnipeg's dirty dozen was playing, it figured its evil cousin on offence would be the one to crack, and sure enough, Pierce was picked off for the only touchdown Calgary managed in the first half.

Pierce made up for it before the half was up, rifling a deep bullet to Terrence Edwards, who bounced off a couple of Stamps and trotted in for the six.

Then came The Hit, and this team's first loss of the season.

Its first loss behind centre, too.

And that's the one that may sting more.

Twitter@friesensunmedia


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