Winnipeg Blue Bombers Lose to Toronto Argonauts, 23-16

Chris Allen@@ChrisATheTruthSenior Analyst IJune 30, 2008

In a close game on Friday night, the Toronto Argonauts prevailed over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The final score was 23-16. In a very strong effort from both teams, the Argos came away with their first victory of the season, leaving the Bombers to lose their home opener

Derick Armstrong played amazingly today. As seen on all the highlight reels, he made an amazing 37-yard catch in the first quarter with the Argos' DB Willie Middlebrooks holding him in an almost bear-hug position.

This catch was the highlight of the first quarter, and fans went wild at this spectacular reception. Also, Alexis Serna made his first CFL field goal. At the end of the first, the Bombers had a 3-0 lead.

At the start of the second, Glenn lost six yards on a sack, making it third down. Serna punted, and after getting by four close tackles, Toronto PR Dominique Dorsey returned the punt 39-yards after finally being tackled by Serna.

The Argos were able to make a first down, but after that, they had to kick a field goal from the 24-yard line. Mike Vanderjagt came out to kick the field goal, but missed it left by a hair. It was so close that from the TV, I thought it was a tie game.

With 7:34 left in the second quarter, Cam Hall sacked Kerry Joseph and the ball was fumbled. The ball was jumped on quickly by DE Tom Canada. The Bombers were unable to connect for a first and goal, and Kicker Alexis Serna connected for a 22-yard field goal, his second of the night.

On one of the most exciting plays for Argos fans, QB Michael Bishop waited for a doggy pile on a 3rd-and-1, and ran around the pile to gain 19-yards. After two completions, Vanderjagt stepped up for another field goal attempt, and this time went wide right. This time, you could tell he missed from your TV sets.

However, with 1:14 left before halftime, Michael Bishop was able to connect with Jamal Robertson. After shaking off a few defenders, the Argos had a 52-yard touchdown and were up 8-6, thanks to their RB Robertson.

At the beginning of the third quarter, it seemed that the refs may have been favoring Toronto. After a 32-yard gain by Armstrong, Toronto challenged that Reciever Romby Bryant was down before he lateraled to Armstrong. However, the call was reversed to a seven-yard gain for Bryant because of a forward lateral.

Is it just me, or was it illegal for the refs to change the call for something other than the challenged issue?

In an unfortunate play for temporary punter Alexis Serna, the snap was poor and Serna had to pick it up off the ground. It was too late, however, as he tried a punt and was blocked by Safety Wayne Shaw and recovered by WR James Robinson at the four-yard line.

Jamal Robertson then ran in the four-yard score on second down. But this play was challenged by Winnipeg, as it appeared that the player's knee touched the ground before he got back up and ran it in.

The referees reviewed the play and the call was unchanged. After seeing the replays on TV, it was clear, however, that this call was correct.

With one second left in the third quarter, Derick Armstrong had another amazing play. Glenn threw the ball to Armstrong in a last-second attempt, and Armstrong caught the ball hairs away from the sideline, and then was pushed out by DB Willie Middlebrooks. 

There was quite a bit of commotion from the Toronto players close to the play that Armstrong was forced out. After a review from the officiating booth, Armstrong was found to have both feet on the ground, and the 30-yard gain was counted. The score was 15-9 for the Argos at the end of the third quarter.

Only 1:10 into the fourth, Roberts had a one-yard touchdown after the Derick Armstrong catch moved the Bombers up to the 13-yard line, making it a 16-15 lead for them.

With 8:50 left in the fourth, the Bombers' QB overthrew Terrence Edwards, and the ball landed in the hands of Argos CB Byron Parker, who returned the interception all the way to the 27-yard line before being pushed out of bounds by Offensive Lineman Ryan Donnelly. Vanderjagt would then miss a 51-yard field goal.

With 5:51 left, Alexis Serna would take a knee in the endzone, putting the Argonauts up by one point, the score being 17-16. This gave the Argos the ball at their 35-yard line.

After a 22-yard pass interference penalty against DB Kelly Malveaux, the Argos goy their first three points from Vanderjagt, who connected on a 49-yard attempt.

On a desperate 3rd-and-8 attempt for the Bombers with 2:24 left, Kevin Glenn would be intercepted by CB Byron Parker. He was then horse-collared by Terrence Edwards, gaining them 15 yards. Mike Vanderjagt then put the Argos up by six with a 44-yard field goal.

The Bombers got the ball back with 1:25 on the clock. They moved all the way up to Toronto's 39, but after a time delay call on Kevin Glenn, it was a 3rd-and-20 from Toronto's 49-yard line.

The Bombers would be intercepted with 0:49 seconds left by DB Willie Middlebrooks. After three knees taken by QB Michael Bishop, the Bombers wrote a loss in their home opener as the Toronto Argonauts prevailed in a six-point, 23-16 point win.

Player of the Game

I have to give this to Derick Armstrong, who had two key catches throughout the game, and ended at an astounding seven catches for 116 yards, with his longest being the 37-yard catch in the first quarter. Congratulations to Derick Armstrong on such a strong performance.

-Chris Allen


Watch CFL Highlights on on Youtube. Just search CFL TV under the Channels section.


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