Justin Medlock’s last second kick lifts Bombers over Redblacks

For the second straight game the Ottawa Redblacks lost on a last second field goal. And, for the second straight game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came back to win on the last play.

Justin Medlock kicked six field goals, including one from 38 yards out as time expired, to give Winnipeg a 33-30 win over the Redblacks on Friday. Medlock kicked field goals of 35 and 40 and added a single point for the Blue Bombers in the final three minutes to tie the game at 30 to set up his game-winning kick.

Last week quarterback Matt Nichols brought Winnipeg (4-2) back from 12 points down with less than a minute to play to beat the Montreal Alouettes.

“We all like to play games that don’t come down to the last play of the game, but winning is a feeling that you want to feel all the time no matter how it happens,” Nichols said. “I feel we as a team we overcame a lot in this game and every phase stepped up. We got points when we needed to. The defence got the last stop for us. Special teams put us in position. It was a full team win.”

In the Redblacks last game they lost 27-24 in Toronto to the Argonauts on a last second field goal. The defending Grey Cup champions are now 1-5-1, but their five losses are only by a combined 13 points.

“It’s tough. I get tired of rationalizing or explaining things. We just have to find a way to coach and to play and find a way to make plays to get it done in the fourth quarter,” Redblacks coach Rick Campbell said. “Period. That’s it.”

After Medlock had tied the score at 23-23 just three minutes into the fourth, Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris drove the Redblacks down field and connected with Greg Ellingson from 21 yards out at 9:25 of the quarter. After the conversion from Brett Maher the Redblacks led 30-23.

Ottawa had a 23-20 lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to a 52-yard touchdown run by William Powell just 57 seconds into the second half and a two-point conversion catch by Brad Sinopoli.

Maher then kicked a 44-yard field goal to give the Redblacks a 23-17 lead before Medlock responded with a 36-yard field goal of his own to get Winnipeg a bit closer at 23-20.

“It’s funny how it all shakes down. You’ve got to play every second and see what the score is at the end of the game,” Bombers coach Mike O’Shea said. “There’s a lot of trust on the sidelines and a lot of that comes from being there and going through these things. We’ll just keep going at it but it’s important that the guys get this experience and realize they can win in all sorts of ways.”

After a strong opening quarter both offences sputtered with just a defensive touchdown and a punt single, as the Blue Bombers took a 17-12 lead into halftime.

Chris Randle recovered a fumble and ran 22 yards for a touchdown at 6:20 of the second quarter and Winnipeg went up 17-11 after the Medlock conversion.

Maher’s 66-yard punt single cut that lead to 12-11 with less than three minutes to play in the half.

Both teams scored on their only two possessions of the first quarter but the Redblacks came out with an 11-10 lead.

Harris threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Strangby at 6:13, and that was followed by a two-point conversion run by Powell.

After the kickoff, Nichols connected with Ryan Lankford on a 79-yard catch and run touchdown on the Bombers first play from scrimmage.

The two-point conversion failed but a single point from Medlock on the ensuing kickoff cut the Redblacks’ lead to 8-7.

Maher kicked a 37-yard field goal at 11:36 to give the Redblacks an 11-7 lead, but Medlock responded with a 52-yard field goal of his own on the last play of the quarter.

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