Bombers find ways to win with second-half heroics

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 PM ET

WINNIPEG - No lead at the half, no problem.

For the third time in the first five weeks of the 2011 CFL season, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were trailing after 30 minutes and found a way to win a game down the stretch.

For a team that seemed to regularly find a way to lose under similar circumstances last season, the rallies have been a welcome change.

“That’s a great stat — it’s more confidence coming out at halftime, being able to close games out,” said Bomber defensive back Jovon Johnson. “I think in the past we were kind of hesitant and skeptical about closing teams out.”

“Last year we had no idea why we were losing the games,” added Bomber offensive tackle Glenn January. “Things would go bad, and it just wouldn’t work out.

“This year we’re doing a lot of the same things, but we’re playing with a lot of courage and a lot of heart and finish. We’re not letting off the pedal.”

CELEBRATION NEEDS WORK: Bomber quarterback Alex Brink was so excited about completing a 22-yard touchdown strike to Terrence Edwards late in the fourth quarter that he doesn’t even remember what he did to celebrate.

“I don’t even know, I kind of blacked out honestly,” said Brink. “I saw that he scored and when I saw the scoreboard, I knew we had an opportunity to win the game for Coach Harris. That was the most important thing.”

As for the play itself, it was simply a matter of repetition.

“It was a play we had worked on all week,” said Edwards. “We really knew it was going to play out that way, the way the routes were designed. We executed and scored a touchdown.

“You can remember last year (Brink) got booed off the field against the same team. He came in there and (look) what one year can do for you. He stepped up and finished the game for us. That’s real positive. It’s a real big statement for him to do that and lead us to a victory.”

THE PENALTY: Some Bomber fans were wondering why the team got backed up 10 yards when attempting a two-point convert after Edwards’ major. It was because head coach Paul LaPolice tried to call a timeout that he’d already used up.

“I called the timeout in the first half because the personnel was screwed up,” said LaPolice. “Then in the second half, my quarterback communication broke down, I had to use a timeout. Then we went right through and I totally — it’s inexcusable — forgot I had used it.”

After getting moved back, the Bombers were unable to convert, but their defence protected a five-point lead to help the club improve to 4-1 and atop the East Division standings.

WEBSITE CRASH: The Bomber website was down on Sunday morning.

When fans clicked on www.bluebombers.com, network solutions came up, which prompted many to speculate the team may have forgotten to renew their domain name.

“There are some minor technical issues and complications between our service provider and the club that has caused www.bluebombers.com to temporarily be unavailable,” said media relations co-ordinator Darren Cameron.

— with files from Kirk Penton

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/WiebeSunSports


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