WINNIPEG - Buck Pierce threw for two touchdowns and ran one in himself as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers handed the Edmonton Eskimos their first loss of the season with a 28-16 victory Friday night.
The win before a second-straight sellout of 29,533 at Canad Inns Stadium improved Winnipeg's record to 5-1 for the first time since 1987.
The Bombers remain in first place in the CFL East Division, while the Eskimos stay atop the West at 5-1.
Winnipeg got its 10th touchdown of the season when Pierce ran a career-high 48 yards into the end zone. It was also the longest run by a Bomber this season.
Pierce completed 20-of-27 pass attempts for 242 yards, two TDs and one interception.
Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray was 17-of-28 for 226 yards, one TD and three interceptions.
Bomber slotback Terrence Edwards notched his fifth TD of the year with a 29-yard catch in a drive aided by a face-mask penalty called on Edmonton during an earlier Edwards' reception. Cory Watson also scored a TD for Winnipeg with a seven-yard catch.
Bomber kicker Justin Palardy missed his first two field-goal attempts, going wide right on a 22-yard try and then wide left on a 32-yard attempt before finally nailing a 33 yarder. Mike Renaud added two punt singles.
Edmonton’s lone touchdown came off a 22-yard reception by Jason Barnes in the first quarter. He finished with eight catches for 125 yards.
Damon Duval booted field goals from 37 and 21 yards and had a punt single. Renaud added two points to the Esks' total when he conceded a safety.
The Eskimos led 11-1 after the first quarter and 14-12 at halftime, but Winnipeg outscored them 14-2 in the third quarter to take a 26-16 lead into the final quarter.
Winnipeg did go ahead 12-11 with 1:01 remaining in the half when Pierce eluded a tackler at the beginning and end of his TD run, but Duval booted his 21-yarder as time expired.
The Esks turned the ball over five times through a fumble, turnover on downs and Ray's three interceptions.
Edmonton had two turnovers in the first half and Winnipeg one.
Four of Winnipeg's first five points came off turnovers while the Esks notched a field goal off Winnipeg's turnover.
The Eskimos used the game's opening drive to put up a four-play, 54-yard drive that ended with Barnes' TD.
Barnes accounted for the entire 54 yards with three catches after a Ray pass to Fred Stamps to start the game went incomplete.
Edmonton made it 10-0 at 8:34 of the first quarter after defensive back Rob Williams grabbed his league-leading fourth interception of the season off a Pierce pass. The turnover led to Duval's 37-yard field goal.
Palardy went wide right on a 22-yard field-goal attempt late in the quarter for a single. Duval added a punt single with 16 seconds left.
Ray was picked off by defensive back Brandon Stewart early in the second and late in the fourth quarter. The first interception ended with Palardy missing wide left from 32 yards, making the score 11-2 at 7:15.
Winnipeg benefited from another turnover when Esks linebacker Brian Bonner fumbled a punt return and the ball was recovered by fullback James Green. Palardy was good on a 33-yard field goal to close the gap 11-5 at 10:54.
Pierce notched his touchdown at 13:59, but Duval followed up with his 21-yarder.
Bomber defensive end Odell Willis recorded two straight sacks on Ray in the third quarter, taking his league-leading sack total to nine.
Winnipeg went ahead 19-16 with Edwards' TD at 7:44 and stretched the lead 26-16 with Watson's TD at 13:17.
Winnipeg cornerback Jovon Johnson intercepted Ray early in the fourth quarter, with Renaud adding a point off a 72-yard punt single for the 27-16 lead.
Renaud added a 58-yard punt single with 1:16 remaining.
Stewart intercepted Ray again with 36 seconds left, but the Bombers used the turnover to run out the clock.