BC melted down in the second half again as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came back from a 14-point halftime deficit to shock the Lions 29-26 in BC Place Stadium on Saturday night. The Blue Bombers took advantage of four BC turnovers, including two interceptions and two fumble recoveries to close to within a half-game of the Lions in the West standings.
Winnipeg got one the board first with a 13-yard field goal by Sergio Castillo, but the Lions answered on a 15-yard field goal from Richie Leone to tie the score. BC got the ball back and took its first lead of the night two plays later when Jonathon Jennings found Austin Collie for a 19-yard touchdown.
After the second Castillo field goal of the night cut the Lions’ lead to 9-6, Jennings went back to work. He found Emmanuel Arceneaux for two second-quarter touchdowns as the Lions pushed their lead to 23-9 at Half.
The Blue Bombers owned the second half thanks to some big plays on special teams. They started it off with a blocked punt from Teague Sherman that was returned by Ian Wild for a touchdown. Castillo followed that up with his fourth field goal before the Winnipeg offense finally found the end zone.
Matt Nichols found Clarence Denmark on third-and-seven for the 16-yard touchdown to tie the game at 26 with less than two minutes remaining. After a quick defensive stop, Castillo became the hero for Winnipeg when he connected on a 41-yard field goal in the final seconds to give the Blue Bombers the win.
Nichols completed 19 of 34 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown to go along with two carries for 11 yards. His favorite target was Denmark who caught six passes for 60 yards and a score. Seven other Blue Bombers caught passes as Nichols really spread the ball around.
Jennings had a big passing day in the loss for the Lions completing 24 of 31 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns. His main weapons were Arceneaux and Lavelle Hawkins. Arceneaux had eight catches for 151 yards and touchdowns of 6 and 38 yards while Hawkins caught five passes for 101 yards and a 2-point conversion.
Austin Collie finished the day with three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he has caught 35 passes for 372 yards and is tied for fifth in the league with seven receiving touchdowns. He has also completed his only throw for a 21-yard touchdown.
Up next for Collie and the Lions is a Saturday night battle on the road against the Edmonton Eskimos. The Eskimos are tied for first place in the West with the Calgary Stampeders with an 11-4 record after they knocked off the Stampeders 15-11 in week 16. Edmonton has won five consecutive games and is tough to beat at home with a record of 6-1.