Backing Buck: Simpson runs wild in Pierce's return | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

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Recap: Hamilton 12, Winnipeg 34
CFL Staff

WINNIPEG – Chad Simpson helped his quarterback ease back into the lineup, combining for 192 yards on 23 touches in a 34-12 Winnipeg win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Canad Inns Stadium Friday night.

Simpson rushed 19 times for 134 yards and added 4 catches for 58.

Friday marked the return of Buck Pierce to the Blue Bombers lineup after missing the majority of the season with an injury.

Related: Ticats at Bombers

» Images: HAM at WPG
» View Game Stats
» Video: Poblah hauls in his first TD
» Video: Brink bounces outside for TD
» View Updated CFL Standings
» Pierce: 'Our goal is to win championships'
» Preview: Bombers, Ticats kickoff Wk.13

He was facing an inspired Hamilton defence that after being criticized throughout the year, came up with one of the most impressive efforts in recent memory, shutting out the Edmonton Eskimos in the final three quarters in last week’s dominant 51-8 victory at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

But Pierce hung in, especially in the second half and led an offence with 288 yards and a touchdown on 21 of 31 passing.

The contest also marked a milestone for the entire Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization who participated in their 1,000th CFL game.

Pierce would shake off the rust of eight weeks off on his second drive when he followed up a 13-yard catch-and-run to Simpson, with a 37-yard bomb to veteran WR Terrence Edwards to set up a 15-yard Justin Palardy field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.  

The Tiger-Cats would answer two possessions later when Luca Congi made good on a 37-yard field goal attempt with a swirling wind in front of him.

In Pierce’s previous two seasons with the Bombers he had leaned on Edwards as his go-to target and would continue to do so in his first game back.  Edwards’ 14-yard snag on a slant pattern set up another Palardy field goal, from 28 yards out, at the beginning of the second quarter.

Edwards would move into fourth place on the Bombers' all-time receiving list by the time the night was through when he passed the 6,296 mark.

The Ticats would take over after the ensuing kickoff but on their first play from scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Henoc Muamba would force a fumble, on Andy Fantuz, and the Bombers would take over just inside Hamilton territory.

Muamba was a force for the Bombers on defence, finishing with four tackles, a forced fumble and one quarterback sack.

Forcing turnovers was the key to Winnipeg’s success in the last meeting between these two clubs, in a 32-25 Bombers victory back on August 16th.  

They would settle for another Palardy field goal.  Hamilton would answer with one of their own when Congi hit a 39-yarder on the strength of a 34-yard reception from WR Onrea Jones.

The two teams would enter halftime with Winnipeg leading 9-6.

Pierce finished the first half 10 of 16 for 122 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.  Simpson was Pierce's biggest weapon in the first half, generating 68 combined yards on 12 touches (10 carries, 2 receptions).

The Tiger-Cats offence started off the second half on the right foot when Burris found Sam Giguere down field for a 31-yard gain, setting up another Congi field goal, from 16 yards out, to tie the game at 9.

The Bombers would lay claim to the first major of the game when backup QB Alex Brink bounced outside for a 1-yard touchdown in short yardage to give Winnipeg a 16-9 lead.  One of their most impressive series’ of the season, Pierce led a 7-play 93-yard drive to give the Bombers one of the most important touchdowns of their season.

Buck is Back For Bombers

Buck Pierce got in a groove in the second half and finished the night with 288 yards and a touchdown on 21 of 31 passing.

» View more stats

The Tiger-Cats would chip into the lead on their next possession when Congi added another field goal to cut the lead to 16-12.

Winnipeg picked up where they left off as Pierce led another productive drive with help from his workhorse tailback, Chad Simpson.  Simpson’s runs of 9, 30 and 18, not only put him up over the century mark for the game but set the Bombers up inside the five yard line.

The Ticats defence held strong, holding the Bombers’ two attempts and forcing them to boot an 11-yard Palardy field goal.  The Bombers would remain on top 19-12.

The Bombers defence would come up with a stop of their own and then Simpson went back to work.  Headlined by a 34-yard romp by the rookie tailback, the Bombers took their biggest lead of the game when Pierce found sophomore WR Kito Poblah for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Poblah’s TD, his first of his career, capped off an 8-play 71-yard drive and marked Winnipeg’s first passing touchdown since August 16th.

The Bombers would put the game out of reach with under 2 minutes remaining when RB Will Ford, spelling Simpson, busted through for 17 yards for a touchdown and a 33-12 lead.

Next Week for Winnipeg: The Bombers continue at home as they welcome Ricky Ray and the Toronto Argonauts to town for a Saturday evening affair.  BUY TICKETS.

Next Week for Hamilton: The Ticats return home to take on the Montreal Alouettes at Ivor Wynne Stadium.  BUY TICKETS.

Fan Comments
Well done Blue Bombers. That might have been a season saving win. Both Hamilton & Winnipeg now need to cheer for Calgary and BC this weekend. The cross over to the East is very much alive.

When the season began, I had told friends that Hamilton could push for the East Division title. They look no where near what I projected.

Congrats Winnipeg, you're not quite on deaths door.... Yet.
September 22, 2012 - 10:38am
You had a lot of company in your expectations and we're all puzzled by how short the 'Cats have fallen of those expectations. I suppose they are puzzled too.
September 22, 2012 - 1:21pm
Hi G-T-C
Hammer can still make a statement, but their remaining schedule is as smooth as a gravel road :

Vs Montreal
@ Edmonton
Vs B.C.
@ Calgary

Hammer has to either win 3 of 4 or run the table to hold off a cross-over move by a West football club. Not sure playing .500 down the stretch is going to be enough. Either way, exciting times for Tiger Cats fans, with a little finger nail biting thrown in.

September 22, 2012 - 3:41pm
*C*F*L* - Not sure how exciting it will be - more like frustrating but definitely the nail-biting fits! Last two game are vs Winnipeg (last game at Ivor Wynne) and @ Toronto (and we all know how the last one went!) Right now fans hope for something adequate but expect the worst!
September 22, 2012 - 11:28pm
Swaggerville looked like they were back
September 21, 2012 - 11:46pm
Sorry, forgot my manners in my other post. Congratulations to Buck Pierce, Chad Simpson and the rest of the Bombers. They didn't get discouraged early, came on stronger in the 2nd half, and did what they had to do to win. Their fans have kept on turning out for the team and now they've been rewarded.
September 21, 2012 - 11:37pm
Defense did a decent job early in the game keeping the run to a minimum and forcing FGs instead of TDs. It was the offense who blew this one start to finish, leaving the defense on the field WAY too long so that their play in the 4th quarter suffered. That's when BBs got most of their rushing yardage and two TDS. A few borderline calls against the Ticats and one totally bogus face mask call as well killed any momentum they might have managed to generate.
September 21, 2012 - 11:36pm
Cats don't like the cold :(. It seems they didn't learn much from last game.
September 22, 2012 - 10:25am
als rule
you see nothing and only offer excuses while playing a victim!! you have learned nothing!!
September 22, 2012 - 7:22pm
The D showed some life but the O & return game sputtered. The Ti-Cats can't seem to get every part of the football "machine" working at the same time. Cobourne was a bright spot but what's his future when Walker comes back? I had gained some hope from the Esks game but now ... At least I'm not the coach so I don't actually have to figure out what to do about the state of the team.
September 21, 2012 - 11:31pm
als rule
sorry BUT in TC I told you all the cats weren't that good. so people like TFmcb led the charge against me by attacking the alouettes as being to old plus a bevy of other reasons!! well now cortez is getting fired & to be followed by obie!! BUT of course you don't see it BUT bob young does!!
September 22, 2012 - 3:38pm