WINNIPEG—Matt Nichols wasn't going to give up when a comeback looked improbable.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback ran 15 yards to help set up Andrew Harris' winning one-yard touchdown as time expired in a wild 41-40 victory over the Montreal Alouettes last night.
“I was going to do anything to win that game,” Nichols said.
A Winnipeg comeback seemed unlikely when Stefan Logan scored a 31-yard touchdown run with 1:40 left to make it 40-28 for the Alouettes, but that wasn't the case.
Nichols marched his team down the field on their next possession and hit Ryan Lankford for a four-yard TD with 48 seconds on the clock.
Justin Medlock then was successful with his onside kick as linebacker Brandon Alexander recovered the ball, and the Bombers started on their own 52-yard line with 44 seconds to play.
After a combination of penalties taken by Montreal propelled Winnipeg into Alouettes' territory, Harris completed the comeback.
The touchdown stood despite it appearing that Harris' knee was down before crossing the goal-line.
“Honestly, there was no nerves about the onside [kick]," Nichols said. ”I wasn't antsy about it.
“I just had a feeling they were going to get it and I knew that once we got the opportunity, in my mind the game was over,” he added.
“We were going to go down and score.”
Nichols completed 34-of-43 pass attempts for 358 yards, with two TDs and no interceptions.
Montreal pivot Darian Durant was 27-of-35 for 348 yards, two TDs, and an interception that led to Harris' first major off a two-yard run.
Logan said he felt his team was ripped off.
“We went with everything we had, man, all the way 'til the end of the game,” the 36-year-old veteran said.
“And I don't like calling people out and stuff like that, but these refs, man, they gotta get better with this, man,” he added.
“These refs is really blowing these games, man.”
Logan was especially upset about linebacker Chris Ackie being called for roughing the passer on the Bombers' winning drive.
“That wasn't an illegal hit," Logan claimed. ”Man, that was a regular hit of a shoulder pad to shoulder pad.
"It just looked violent 'cause [Ackie] didn't wrap. He just hit [Nichols] hard.
“It wasn't like he went across his face or nothing like that," he stressed. ”It don't make no sense, man.
“We're playing against 15 people," Logan charged. ”We're playing against the other team and the refs, and that ain't fair, man.
“I'm sorry, that ain't fair.”
“In the CFL, you're never out of it,” said Harris, who had 12 carries for 41 yards and nine catches for 93 yards.
"It definitely showed true tonight.
“I think the biggest thing was the fact that we were down two scores and there was no quit in our team,” he added.
“It was a big win for us.”
The Bombers (3-2) had tied the game 27-27 in front of 25,931 fans at Investors Group Field off a Medlock 27-yard field goal with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
But a head's up play by Montreal receiver Eugene Lewis led to the Alouettes retaking the lead.
With the ball looking like it was flying out of bounds, Lewis—making his CFL debut—batted it back into play and teammate B.J. Cunningham grabbed it and ran down to Winnipeg's one-yard line.
The Alouettes (2-4) couldn't break Winnipeg's defensive stand, but regained a 30-27 lead with Boris Bede's nine-yard field goal at 1:42 of the fourth quarter.