Buck Pierce is 7-0.
7-0 at what you ask? The number of starts this season for Pierce.
Backtrack to last season and you’ll kindly remember that Pierce only managed to start five games all season, with three of those being consecutive.
So what has changed so drastically in one year to which Pierce has been able to stay healthy through the first seven games of the season?
Was it Pierce’s determination to get back up and lead his team? Was it the off-season workout that he put in to return from his elbow injury and be the number one guy at the start of the season, amidst all the injury-prone talk?
One thing is for sure, whatever it is, it is paying dividends. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are off to their best start since 1984 at 6-1 and a four game winning streak, and Buck Pierce is playing some of his best football in his career.
Saturday (Aug. 13) night saw his return to B.C., the team that released him this past off-season and regardless of what was said to the media, you know Pierce had a chip on his shoulder and something to prove to his former team.
And that he did.
Pierce completed 18 of 24 passes, throwing for 237 yards and one interception, a late one. Completing 75 percent of his passes put him over his season and career average.
Pierce hit six different receivers and leading with four was TJ Harris, who finished the night with 57 yards, including a 22-yard scamper.
Second in the league in rushing at 496, running back Fred Reid was limited to just 26 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.
Kicker Justin Palardy was only good for one of three attempts a week ago against the Edmonton Eskimos, but bounced back Saturday night making all three attempts and helping lead his team to a win.
Defensively, the team never missed a beat, covering all receivers making quarterback Travis Lulay’s night a pain. Lulay connected with nine receivers, but was only able to hit one receiver for a touchdown late in the game.
Clint Kent led all Bombers with six tackles while Kenny Mainor had another two-sack night, increasing his total to six. Odell Willis was held to zero sacks and tackles, but the pair has combined for 14 sacks on the season.
Jason Vega made his return following a knee injury and didn’t miss a beat, recording a tackle and a sack in his return. Don Oramasionwu also had a sack and two tackles.
In the end, the Bombers outplayed, outworked and outsmarted the B.C. Lions on their way to a 30-17 final decision.
Buck Pierce was able to show his former team that they made a mistake by releasing him at the end of last season.
The Bombers enter their bye week at 6-1, and will return to face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on August 26 at home.