10/11/2015 01:35 EDT | Updated 10/11/2016 01:12 EDT

Blue Bombers erase early deficit, beat Lions 29-26 on last-second field goal

VANCOUVER — Rookie Sergio Castillo's last-second 41-yard field goal gave the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a 29-26 come-from-behind win over the B.C. Lions in CFL action Saturday night.

The Blue Bombers prevailed after scoring 10 points in the final two minutes.

Winnipeg (5-10) moved into a tie with B.C. (5-9) for the third and final playoff spot in the West Division as it posted only its second win in the past nine games. The Lions have four games left in the regular season, while the Bombers only have three remaining.

Castillo, making his CFL debut, was good on all five of his field-goal attempts. Winnipeg also received a touchdown from Ian Wild on a blocked punt return to overcome a 23-9 half-time deficit.

The loss spoiled a strong first-half effort by B.C. quarterback Jonathon Jennings, who tossed three touchdowns while completing 16 consecutive passes. He threw for 307 yards in the first half alone.

Emmanuel Arceneaux caught two of Jennings' touchdown passes while Austin Collie snagged another.

B.C. kicker Richie Leone provided a field goal and a punt single, but missed a convert attempt and had another one blocked. The Lions' other points came on a Lavelle Hawkins two-point convert and safety conceded by Winnipeg punter Lirim Hajrullahu.

After being forced to punt on their first offensive series, the Bombers caught a break as B.C. fumbled the ball and Winnipeg's Jesse Briggs recovered it on the B.C. 10-yard line. But Winnipeg had to settle for a 13-yard field goal from Castillo, who handled place-kicking duties while struggling veteran Hajrullahu completed the punting and kick-off chores.

Leone drew the Lions even at 3-3 with a 15-yarder at 12:21 of the first quarter. The Lions took a 9-3 lead on their next series on the first play of the second quarter as Jennings connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass with Collie, but Leone missed the convert. The TD came after Jennings connected with Lavelle Hawkins on a 79-yard pass-and-run play in the closing seconds of the first.

Castillo's 31-yard field goal brought the Bombers within three points on their next series. But Jennings kept the Lions offence moving and completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Arceneaux.

Leone's convert was blocked, but Jennings — the holder on the play — came to his rescue by tackling Johnny Adams following a 59-yard return. 

Castillo's 36-yard field reduced Winnipeg's deficit to 15-9, but Jennings responded again, throwing a 38-yard TD strike to Arceneaux. Hawkins' reception for a two-point convert put the Lions ahead 23-9.

Early in the third quarter, Winnipeg pulled within seven points as Wild returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a TD, which was converted by Castillo. Adams' 55-yard interception return then set up a 29-yard Castillo field goal, leaving B.C. with a 23-19 advantage.

B.C. went up 25-19 as Winnipeg conceded a safety instead of punting from the end zone. Leone's punt single in the fourth quarter extended B.C.'s lead by a point, but the Lions could not score again.

Notes: Lions No. 1 quarterback Travis Lulay dressed as the backup. He suited up for the first time since suffering a knee injury Sept. 3 in Montreal.


Monte Stewart, The Canadian Press