WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers played for pride Saturday and ended their CFL season with a morale boosting 19-11 win over the East Division leading Montreal Alouettes.
It was also their last game at Canad Inns Stadium.
“It feels really good to get a win, obviously, and I think it’s a good positive step for next year,” he said.
He had good things to say about both quarterbacks but singled out Justin Goltz, who came in for the fourth quarter and scored the go-ahead touchdown.
“You could see his athletic ability. He can run, he can throw, he’s a big guy, I think he’s got a really good future. . .
“I think there were some real positives in his performance and enough to say to yourself ‘boy, we really want him back’.”
With Pierce missing 11 games this season and failing to finish others because of injury, the Bombers are taking a hard look at what to do with the quarterback position for 2013. The Alouettes still finish first in the CFL East Division but quarterback Adrian McPherson failed to capitalize on the 10-0 first quarter lead he built in his first start this season.
“I’m really disappointed we didn’t get the win,” said said.
“I didn’t feel too bad, especially for someone who hasn’t played in so long. . . I’ll go back watch the film and see how I can try and get better.”
Winnipeg cornerback Jovon Johnson, who set up Goltz’s touchdown with a 71-yard punt return, said the win was important for a team that has struggled.
“We talked about it before the game. . . Our season for next year starts today,” he said.
“Right now it just means were headed into the right direction, going out with a win, hopefully we can carry over some momentum from that and bring it back for next year.”
Goltz replaced Alex Brink in the fourth quarter after Brink completed 17-of-26 pass attempts for 173 yards and one interception.
McPherson scored one touchdown and was also his team’s leading rusher with 102 yards.
Brink and McPherson both handle wildcat plays for their teams and Brink was second on the Bomber rushing list at 58 yards.
“I think I played well tonight. We executed, we moved the football, we had only one or two and outs,” Brink said.
“For the team to go out on a high note going into the off-season, obviously with the stadium closing, to send it out with a victory is huge.”
An announced crowd of 26,807 fans got a second chance to say goodbye to Canad Inns Stadium Saturday but it looked like a few ticket holders may have decided to stay home on an overcast day with temperatures hovering just above freezing.
The stadium, known simply as Winnipeg Stadium for most of its existence, is just a year shy of its 60th birthday.
This was also the Canadian Football Hall of Fame game honouring this year’s inductees.
The players are quarterback Damon Allen, who played with four CFL teams winning three Grey Cups, 14-season all-star Bombers’ receiver Milt Stegall, Saskatchewan offensive lineman and kicker Jack Abendschan, Montreal running back Eric Lapointe and the late linebacker Tyrone Jones, who also played in Winnipeg.
The builders are B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner David Braley and former University of Calgary coach Peter Connellan.