Blue Bombers 27 Eskimos 17
WINNIPEG — Winnipeg cornerback Jovon Johnson was just as surprised as anyone when he made the second-longest missed field-goal return in team history.
Johnson returned a missed field goal 118 yards for a touchdown as his Blue Bombers defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 27-17 in CFL action Friday night.
“I don’t think I ever ran that far in my life,” said Johnson.
“Definitely not on the football field, maybe on the track. It was a big play in the game. The other 11 guys out there on the field gave me some good blocks and the rest is history.”
Eskimo kicker Neil Prefontaine’s 43-yard field-goal attempt missed wide left early in the third quarter and Johnson elected to bring it out of the end zone.
The team record for a missed field-goal return is held by Albert Johnson III, who returned one 122 yards in 2000.
The third-year veteran’s feat helped Winnipeg (5-8) win back-to-back games for the first time this season, but it came in front of a season-low crowd of 21,965 at Canad Inns Stadium.
Edmonton (6-7) has now lost four of its last five games, but still remains in the tight race for playoff positioning in the West Division.
Calgary and Saskatchewan go into their weekend games with 7-5 records.
“The good thing is nobody is really running away with it,” said Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray, who completed 24 of 39 pass attempts for 188 yards with one TD and one interception.
“It’s not like we’re four or five games back. As bad as we’ve played the last four or five games, we’re still in it and that’s what we’ve got to realize. ”
“We just need to fix some things and get a little better at stuff and we’ll still have a shot.”
Edmonton head coach Richie Hall said there were no excuses for the loss; each phase of the game is taking turns struggling.
“It comes back to the consistency part,” Hall said. “You’ve got to be consistent for four quarters if you want to be successful.”
Bomber head coach Mike Kelly said quarterback Michael Bishop distributed the ball well and only threw a couple passes that made him gulp.
It was the second straight game Bishop has looked confident. Receivers dropped a number of balls and Bishop finished 20-of-34 for 184 yards with one TD and one interception.
Winnipeg doesn’t play again till it travels to Hamilton on Thanksgiving Monday so he’s giving his players the next three days off.
“I’m actually telling the coaches to stay out of the office for two days,” Kelly said.
“Let everybody kind of get rejuvenated. We’ve got two in a row here now. We’ve got our building blocks going. Let’s rest up, heal up, get our minds right and keep this string going.”