The Blue Bombers lost a close one at home to the Stampeders Friday night by a score of 25–23.
At the three-minute mark, the Bombers were down 25–14, and a comeback looked nearly impossible against Mitchell, Cornish, Rogers and the rest of the defending Grey Cup champs. But it all came down to an odd penalty.
An illegal formation killed the Bombers final drive as they surged from second and inches with about half a minute left in the game. Down by a field goal, O’Shea put Hajrullahu out to kick from 48 yards out, but he missed wide right.
And with that, the Bombers lost six of their last seven.
The late comeback attempt started with a big punt return by Troy Stoudermire. Nichols then hit Moore for a first down, and after Bastien dropped a pass that hit him in the hands, Nichols went back to Moore for another ten. But the spot placed the Blue in second and inches. This is when it all fell apart. Darvin Adams was flagged with an illegal formation, which put the Bomber in third and five.
The rest is history.
The Bombers started the game swinging for the fences and scrapping like a street cat. Early on, Nichols went deep to Darvin Adams for a 42-yard touchdown pass, which kicked off an all out offensive slugfest.
But once again, the Bombers offense fell apart after halftime. And just like the last time the Stamps were in town, the visitors took control of the game in the third quarter.
Whoever said defenses win football games clearly has never watched a Bomber game. Again, the Bomber defense played well—Jamaal Westerman recorded two sacks, totaling 11 this season to take the league lead—but without a capable offense to move the ball consistently, it was all for naught.
Penalties were an issue again, and I’m not just referring to the one that killed the comeback. In total, the Bombers took 13 penalties totaling 115 yards, compared to the Stamps who gave up less than 60 yards on nine infractions.
Nichols was 18 for 28, with two majors and 234 yards. But again the Bombers had no run game to speak of. Marshall rushed for less than 30 yards. Walker barely cleared 20.
By contrast, Cornish ran for nearly 100 yards.
Another big difference in this game was the number of receivers each quarterback used. Bo Levi Mitchell threw to nine different players, with Marquay McDaniel leading all receivers in the game with nine catches for 159 yards.