By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
WINNIPEG — Buck Pierce is back, and so are the Bombers in the win column.
For the first time since August 16 — a familiar home matchup against Hamilton — the Winnipeg Blue Bombers emerged victorious with a 34-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in front of 26,577 at Canad Inns Stadium on a blustery and chilly Friday night.
In his first game action since tearing ligaments in his foot back in Week 3 in Edmonton, Winnipeg quarterback Buck Pierce led his team to it’s third win of the season, and his first at the helm in 2012.
“The guys know that Buck is a good quarterback, and so the confidence level immediately goes up just when he steps into the game,” said Bombers head coach Tim Burke. “He showed a lot of his maturity out there tonight, and his leadership, and his grasp of (the) offence. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Buck.”
Pierce may be just what the doctor ordered for a team that was only able to muster a pair of wins since their 0-4 start and losing their No. 1 signal caller.
Pierce handled his return quite well for a pivot who’s missed eight games, as very little rust was visible in his 21-for-31 and 288 yards performance. He threw one touchdown (the first of Kito Poblah’s career) and no interceptions.
“My main thing and message to the offence is to have confidence,” said Pierce. “We’re going to work through the hard times, and we’re going to figure out what they’re doing and we’re going to attack.”
A huge part of the Bombers attack on Friday was running back Chad Simpson, as the Ticats were handed heavy doses of the former NFLer. Simpson helped sustain Winnipeg drives, finishing the day with 134 yards rushing on 19 carries. He also finished second on the team in receiving with four catches for 58 yards.
“This game we were more committed to the run than we have been other times in the season,” said offensive tackle Glenn January. “Whenever you have a defence that was playing the way they were playing tonight… it really puts you into a position where you have a (wider) range of options in the offence.”
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It is widely estimated that the Canadian Football League recorded its 100 millionth fan in attendance at Friday night’s contest at Canad Inns Stadium since the league was officially established in 1958.
Receiver Terrence Edwards’ 88 yards receiving on Friday moved him past Rick House for fourth on the Blue Bombers’ all-time receiving yards list.
ChrisD.ca video/Darrin Bauming