Bombers keep slim playoff hopes alive
MONTREAL—The odds still weigh heavily against them, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ playoff hopes are not dead yet.
Max Hall picked up his first CFL win as a starting quarterback, and Will Ford caught a touchdown pass and ran in another, as the Bombers staved off elimination with a 34-27 victory over the Montreal Alouettes yesterday afternoon.
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance right?” said Hall. “So we’ve just got to keep playing.
“All we can control is winning next week [at home Saturday against Toronto] and, if we can do that, we’ll still have a chance,” he added.
Clarence Denmark and back-up quarterback Jason Boltus also had TDs while Sandro DeAngelis kicked two field goals for Winnipeg (3-12), which ended a four-game losing streak.
S.J. Green and Tyrell Sutton scored while Sean Whyte had four boots for Montreal (6-9), which ended a two-game winning run and wasted a chance to clinch a playoff berth.
The Alouettes turned the ball over seven times, including three interceptions thrown by starter Josh Neiswander and one by back-up Troy Smith.
“Anything we’ve improved on, from turnovers to penalties, we did none of today,” noted Montreal coach and general manager Jim Popp.
“There’s no excuse,” he stressed. “We beat ourselves.
“You’ve got to give [Winnipeg] credit,” Popp added. “They didn’t have to come here and play the way they did, but we gave them a lot, too.”
The third-place Alouettes still can finish second in the division—and host a playoff game—as they head into back-to-back games with their second-place Hamilton, who they face this Sunday at home.
Hall, starting a fourth-straight game, completed 16 passes for 223 yards. The Bombers also ended a seven-game run with fewer than 300 yards on offence by putting up 309.
“I’m not going to lie—that feels really good,” said Hall. “I was proud of our guys, with our backs against the wall, to hang in there and get a win.
“It says a lot about our team going forward.”
Hamilton beat Toronto 24-18 in the other CFL game yesterday.