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On the Brink: Winnipeg rallies to down BC

Jul 29, 2011 - 3:56 AM
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Alex Brink came in for an injured Buck Pierce and threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Edwards inside five minutes remaining in the game to boost Winnipeg to a 25-20 victory over the winless British Columbia Lions.

Pierce, facing his former team, was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter after taking a helmet-on-helmet hit from defensive tackle Aaron Hunt during a scramble up the middle. Brink, who played college ball at Washington State, had his first CFL TD pass.

The Blue Bombers took to the field just two days after the death of assistant head coach and defensive line coach Richard Harris, who passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday.

"It's been an emotional two days, I know our players are drained, I know I am absolutely drained," Blue Bombers coach Paul LaPolice said. "I was happy we were on defense to win the game. We had help."

Harris' wife, Tami, was in the locker room after the contest and received the game ball from LaPolice.

Pierce ended 11-of-18 for 206 yards and a TD, but he was sacked four times. Still, the Blue Bombers (4-1) are off to their best start since the 2003 season. Pierce was diagnosed with a lower body injury and left for precautionary reasons.

Justin Palardy kicked four field goals in the win.

Travis Lulay went 16-of-31 for 195 yards through the air for the Lions (0-5), who are winless after five games for the first time since 1996.

The Blue Bombers held a 19-14 lead going to the fourth quarter, but Paul McCallum kicked field goals of 37 and 46 yards, ultimately putting the visitors ahead by a point midway through the period.

Brink later scrambled up the middle on a designed quarterback draw for 15 yards, putting the ball at the BC 24. Two plays later he found Edwards alone in the end zone for the go-ahead score. The two-point conversion pass was knocked down.

Lulay threw incomplete on third down inside Winnipeg territory, but the Blue Bombers were forced to punt the ball back. Still, it was not enough for the Lions as they only got to midfield before a last-second pass went awry.

McCallum and Palardy exchanged field goals in the opening quarter and the Lions got the game's first major in the second on a six-yard run by Jamal Robertson.

McCallum's 40-yard field goal staked the Lions to a 13-6 lead at the half. Pierce found Clarence Denmark for an 82-yard score in the opening minute of the third and Palardy kicked two field goals, helping Winnipeg to the five- point lead going to the fourth.

Game Notes

Tim Brown rushed nine times for 74 yards for BC, while teammate Shawn Gore caught seven balls for 83 yards...Fred Reid had 13 rushes for 53 yards for the Bombers, who also got six catches for 70 yards from Corey Watson.