Blue Bombers 29 Argonauts 24
WINNIPEG — Michael Bishop threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers climbed out of the CFL basement with a 29-24 victory over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night.
The win gives Winnipeg a 4-8 record and keeps the Argos in last place in the CFL with a 3-9 mark.
The Blue Bombers led 17-6 at halftime and 29-9 after three quarters, but nearly squandered the advantage in a nerve-rattling fourth.
Argos linebacker Kyle Jones sparked the comeback, blocking a Mike Renaud punt. Andre Durie picked up the ball at Winnipeg’s three-yard line and ran in for the TD at 1:33.
Justin Medlock then hit a 78-yard single to close the gap 29-17 and Toronto quarterback Kerry Joseph, who replaced starter Cody Pickett in the third quarter, pulled off a fake and ran in his TD at 8:12 to make it 29-24.
Despite catching two more breaks, the Argos couldn’t close the gap any further.
First, Bombers kick returner Jovon Johnson ran a punt back 57 yards for a TD, but the score was negated by a penalty. Bishop then completed a pass to Bowman, but he fumbled it and Toronto linebacker Willie Pile recovered.
The Argos couldn’t convert on either of their final two possessions, with Joseph’s final pass of the game knocked to the turf with 33 seconds left.
Kickers accounted for all the points in the first quarter, with Renaud’s 56-yard single, Medlock’s 27-yard field goal and pair of Alexis Serna field goals from 53 and 32 yards. Serna’s longest this season is 54.
Medlock and Serna exchanged field goals early in the second quarter and then the Bombers put together their best TD drive in a long time.
Bishop confidently engineered a seven-play, 78-yard march that ended with Fred Reid’s TD catch to give Winnipeg a 17-6 lead at 12:18.
The league’s leading rusher, Reid finished with 16 carries for 60 yards. In Winnipeg’s three previous games, he’d been held to a total 131 yards on 34 carries.
Medlock’s 44-yard field goal with 39 seconds ended the first-half scoring.
Toronto’s first series in the third quarter ended with a fumble by running back Jamal Robertson. Bombers linebacker Ike Charlton recovered the ball at the Argos’ 40-yard line, but Winnipeg couldn’t convert after Serna missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt.
Toronto penalties, including roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness, helped propel Winnipeg to its second TD.
After failing on a few cracks from the one-yard line, the Bombers were flagged and sent back to the 11-yard line. Bishop immediately tossed the ball to Adarius Bowman for his third TD catch of the season and a 24-9 lead at 5:52.
After Joseph entered the game, he was intercepted by Winnipeg defensive back Lenny Walls on his second play. However, Winnipeg was again unable to turn the gift into any points.
Joseph completed 11 of 21 passes for 123 and two interceptions. Picketee was 13-of-22 for 98 yards.