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CFL - Blue Bombers edge Eskimos, thanks to some timely breaks
At the end of the day, this was a game the Edmonton Eskimos were seemingly not meant to win. They made their fair share of blunders in falling 23-22, to the previously winless Winnipeg Blue Bombers but it in the end, it was a game that was still there for the taking.
Edmonton - July 27, 2012 - At the end of the day, this was a game the Edmonton Eskimos were seemingly not meant to win. They made their fair share of blunders in falling 23-22, to the previously winless Winnipeg Blue Bombers but it in the end, it was a game that was still there for the taking. A last minute fumble from quarterback Steven Jyles, during an apparent game winning fourth quarter drive, turned out to be the deciding blow in what was a disappointing night in the Manitoba capital for the West leaders.
The game was not only Winnipeg's long overdue home opener, after going 0-4 on the road to start the season, but also marked the one year anniversary of the sudden passing of Richard Harris, the Bombers former defensive line and assistant coach. Making the opener into a very emotional night for both the fans and club, as well as Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed.
Reed had coached alongside Harris in 2010 with the Blue Bombers but the two had a friendship and bond that ran much deeper than their brief time together in Winnipeg. Simply put, this was a game that Kavis would rather have not been a part on this day and frankly, who could blame him.
From an on field standpoint, this was easily Jyles most convincing performance to date but the late fumble and inability to move the offence for much of the second half, will still leave many Eskimos doubting the abilities of their starting QB.
To his credit he finally managed to get Fred Stamps involved, finding the receiver on four occasions and his first major of the season, which gave the Esks what seemed to be a comfortable 21-11 advantage in the third quarter. However on this night, it would not be enough as the Bombers would not go quietly., making the most of a couple of timely bounces.
Chad Simpson would cut the lead to three, with a four yard run late in the third, which came moments after the Eskimos blocked a punt. Hugo Lopez found his way through the Winnipeg line and managed to deflect Mike Renaud's punt attempt high into the air. Unfortunately, it was touched by Edmonton's Mike Miller near the line of scrimmage, making the ball live and allowing Jeremy McGee to recover the pigskin and scamper up to the Esks 24 yard line. Giving the Blue Bombers a fresh set of downs and a new lease on life.Can you say turning point?
They would complete the comeback midway through the final quarter, thanks to a safety and a 27 yard field goal from Justin Palardy, giving them a 23-21 lead and becoming the first team to crack the 20 point barrier against the Eskimos this season.
That being said, the visitors were marching down field and looked poised to put this one to bed and move to 4-1 on the young CFL season. That is until Jyles spilled the ball with forty-three seconds to play and putting an end to what would have been a huge confidence builder for this re-built roster.
In the end, it was a win the Eskimos should have come away with but instead fell short.Yes it was a lose but one that even supporters of the Green and Gold can't be overly critical of. The Blue Bombers and their fans were desperately in need of some breaks, after a dreadful opening four weeks of the season, and on Thursday night they got them in spades.
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