Winnipeg's preseason left the fan base with some serious questions about the potency of the Bombers' offense.
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Bombers starting quarterback Drew Willy had his moments on Friday night in front of 24,344 spectators at Investors Group Field, but he made a couple of bad decisions against a Tiger-Cats defence that was missing several of its starters. Willy and the projected starting offence played the entire first half and part of the third, but they managed just seven points.
The Bombers Offense erased a lot of doubt in the rebuilt offensive line in their 30 to 26 victory in the season opener over Saskatchewan. On the night Willy was 22 for 35. He put up 325 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Willy hit Paris Cotton for 6 yard score to cap off the Bombers' second drive of the game, putting Winnipeg up 7 to nothing. But the riders quickly answered back, scoring on the next drive to tie the game.
After a little bit of back and forth Winnipeg got traction on a drive capped by a Cameron Marshall 2 yard touchdown plunge. A key play on the drive was a 21 yard Drew Willy pass to Paris Cotton. The Riders' were unable to return the ensuing kickoff which pushed the Winnipeg advantage to 15-7.
As time was running out in the first half Darian Durant threw a 53 yard bomb to Ryan Smith to close the score to 15-14 at the intermission.
The second half started badly for the Bombers. Saskatchewan's Jerome Messam got away for a 53 yard touchdown run on their opening drive of the second half, putting Winnipeg down for the first time in the game. A two point conversion gave the Riders a 7 point lead.
Momentum stayed with Willy's former team until Chris Milo missed a 48 yard field goal attempt. While he missed the three it did go deep enough to earn the Riders' a single, putting them up by 8 points.
On the next drive Paris Cotton had a key carry for for 31 yards and that set up Drew Willy and Cameron Marshall for a 14 yard touchdown connection. Winnipeg added the two point conversion to tie the game.
After trading a couple of drives the Riders put up a fourth quarter field goal to take a 26-23 lead and put the pressure back on Willy and the Blue Bombers.
Drew Willy opened the next drive with a 41 yard pass to Clarence Denmark. Five plays later Drew Willy pass to Nick Moore for 18 yards for the game winning touchdown.
The Bombers will head home to host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Investors Group Field.