THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL -- The latest chapter in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' storybook start to the CFL season featured last-minute, come-from-behind heroics from local boy Julian Feoli-Gudino.
Winnipeg trailed by five points in the final minute when quarterback Drew Willy completed a 13-play, 75-yard drive with Feoli-Gudino's 18-yard touchdown catch on third down to lift the Bombers to a 34-33 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night.
The Blue Bombers won just three games last season, but have won three-straight to start the 2014 campaign under rookie head coach Mike O'Shea and Willy, who is in his first season as a starter.
"Third down, in my hometown, it was amazing,'' said Feoli-Gudina. "It was a good team effort. I just had to make a play at the end.''
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He grew up playing football for the Sun Youth Organization at Jeanne-Mance Park, a five-minute walk from the Alouettes' home stadium, where he watched a lot of CFL games.
So the former Toronto Argonaut, who joined the Bombers this season, was delighted to get a dramatic, game-winning grab with 29 seconds left before about 30 family and friends in the seats at Percival Molson Stadium.
"It's pretty sweet,'' Feoli-Gudino said. "I had a diagonal. It was man coverage. I went inside and Drew put it right on the money.''
Backup quarterback Robert Marve had a touchdown and the Winnipeg defence got one from linebacker Desia Dunn and another from defensive back Chris Randle. Lirim Hajrullahu booted three field goals for the Bombers, who played their first road game after a pair of wins at home.
Troy Smith threw his first three touchdown passes of the season to Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson, Kenny Stafford and S.J. Green for Montreal. It was the first career CFL touchdown for former NFL star Johnson. The Alouettes also had four field goals from Sean Whyte.
It was a long, grinding game slowed by 33 penalties to both teams for 328 yards and a pair of time-consuming challenges each from O'Shea and Montreal coach Tom Higgins.
The last-minute TD marked the sixth lead change in the game.
But while Montreal led 385-274 in total offence and in time of possession at 33:22, it went down to the wire when Montreal had to settle for a field goal after Demond Washington's second fumble of a punt in the game. That left the Bombers needing a touchdown to win with 2:18 left to play.
The final drive was aided by a pass interference call and a pair of third-down conversions, but Willy pulled it out in the end.
"That last drive was pretty exciting,'' said Willy, who spent the last two seasons as Darian Durant's backup in Saskatchewan.
"I've been in some crazy games before but to make a touchdown on third and 10 in a tough place to play like this, it was fun to be part of.''
It was a heartbreaker for Montreal, which saw Smith have his best game since taking over as the starter this season. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 309 yards, and for the first time looked to have found his range on longer throws downfield.
But he also had a pass picked off by Randle when Montreal held an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
"Turnovers are costly, particularly when you turn them into touchdowns,'' said Higgins. "We got that turnover on a punt and it would have been nice if we got a touchdown there.
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