BOMBERS Ex­tra­Points

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No worse than be­fore

SO, re­mem­ber how the big­gest con­cern among Win­nipeg Blue Bombers fans last week was about the greener than green of­fen­sive line the club was send­ing into bat­tle against the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos Fri­day night at In­vestors Group Field?

Well, it turned out that the Win­nipeg of­fen­sive line was per­haps the least of the Bombers prob­lems on a night when the of­fence as a whole — not to men­tion the de­fence and spe­cial teams — com­bined for an epic col­lapse that led to Win­nipeg blow­ing a 20- 0 lead and los­ing 35- 27 in over­time.

While an of­fen­sive line that in­cluded a pair of tack­les mak­ing their first CFL starts and a guard mak­ing just his sec­ond was not with­out blame in Fri­day’s de­ba­cle, they were as a unit at least as ser­vice­able as any other five- man of­fen­sive front com­bi­na­tion the Bombers have sent out this sea­son.

With CFL rook­ies Jarvis Jones and Dan Knapp at left and right tack­les re­spec­tively, sec­ond- time starter Tyson Pencer at right guard and vet­er­ans Justin Sorensen at cen­tre and Chris Greaves at left guard, the Bombers O- line yielded three sacks, but for the most part pro­vided QB Max Hall de­cent pro­tec­tion and sprung run­ning back Will Ford for a cou­ple of big runs, par­tic­u­larly in the first half.

Jones was look­ing for the sil­ver lin­ing late Fri­day night, talk­ing about the chance the game pro­vided him to learn the CFL game un­der duress.

“It was a good op­por­tu­nity. It was a good way to learn and stuff like that,” said Jones. “I feel bad about the out­come, of course. We’ve got to get bet­ter and learn from it and start all over again to­mor­row.”

Pencer, who’s now started two games in a row af­ter miss­ing all his rookie sea­son and half of his sopho­more year, said he loved what he and his mates were able to do in the first half.

“We def­i­nitely came out good. We put 20- some­thing points up in the first and sec­ond quar­ters.

“As a group, there was some stuff we did good to­gether and there’s some stuff that we need to work on.”

A new rock- bot­tom

SLOT­BACK Ter­rence Edwards has known no short­age of dis­ap­point­ment in his seven sea­sons as a mem­ber of the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers.

But even for Edwards, Fri­day night’s epic Bombers col­lapse broke new ground.

“This is prob­a­bly the worst,” said Edwards. “This prob­a­bly takes the cake. There’s no way we should have lost this game. We as a team did not make enough plays to win this game. Pe­riod.

“Be­cause there’s no way we should squan­der a lead like that and end up los­ing in over­time.”

Edwards — whose first- quar­ter 12- yard TD re­cep­tion was his first catch for a ma­jor this sea­son — was asked how his team picks up the pieces af­ter such a dev­as­tat­ing loss.

“We’ve got no choice,” said Edwards. “You let it hurt for a day or so, but we’ve got to get back to work. You flush this game, as bad as it hurts, and we got to be ready to play next week.”

A few bright lights

LOST in the dis­ap­point­ment of Fri­day’s de­feat were a cou­ple of big per­sonal per­for­mances by some Bombers de­fend­ers.

De­fen­sive back Alex Su­ber, for in­stance, had a fum­ble re­cov­ery, a forced fum­ble and a knock­down to go with six de­fen­sive tack­les, which also tied for the team lead on this night.

And de­fen­sive line­man Greg Peach, who the Bombers picked up as a cast- off free agent a cou­ple of weeks ago, had two of Win­nipeg’s four sacks, as well as two de­fen­sive tack­les.

Pre­dictably, both men said they’d trade in the per­sonal num­bers for a vic­tory Fri­day night. “This is the worst I’ve ever felt af­ter hav­ing a game like that,” said Peach, shak­ing his head.

Su­ber strug­gled to put Fri­day’s game in some con­text.

“When you lose games like that, you can’t re­ally com­pare them to other losses,” he said.

— Wiecek

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