Lucky Whitehead caught a pair of touchdowns to help the Winnipeg Blue Bombers win their first home-opener in five seasons with a 28-21 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday.
Matt Nichols threw touchdown passes of 75 and 41 yards to Whitehead, who showcased his speed and elusive skills in front of 25,336 fans at IG Field.
“The later touchdown is something that, I mean, not many people in the world can turn that into a touchdown,” Nichols said of Whitehead postgame.
“Usually that would be a 12-, 13-yard gain, pushed out of bounds, and somehow he scored a 40-yard touchdown. So he’s lightning in a bottle, for sure.”
Nic Demski and Andrew Harris also had TDs for Winnipeg (2-0). Justin Medlock was good on four converts. Sean Whyte’s seven field goals, ranging from 10 to 45 yards, accounted for all of Edmonton’s (2-1) scoring.
Nichols completed 13 of 21 pass attempts for 200 yards with three TDs and one interception. Trevor Harris was 35-of-54 for 345 yards with no TDs and no picks.
Whitehead previously played 30 games with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, mostly as a returner, but he was elated to show his recieving skills in front of the Blue Bombers faithful.
“It was a breakout for me, just to show my speed,” a smiling Whitehead said. “It was just an overall great game.”
Harris managed 34 yards on 10 carries and suffered two fumbles, including a drop on the Winnipeg 51-yard line in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
“I mean, to cough up the ball that late in the game in that area of the field. I’ve just gotta be better,” Harris Said.
“We saw some flashes. Lucky Whitehead had an amazing game. I thought our defence was unreal and Demski had some nice carries but overall we need to be better as a full unit.”
Bombers rookie running back Brady Oliveira was carted off the field late in the second quarter after injuring a leg during a kickoff. Blue Bombers Head Coach Mike O’Shea did not provide an update on his status post-game.
With Files from The Canadian Press