WINNIPEG — Justin Medlock kicked six field goals and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers relied heavily on special teams Saturday afternoon in a 46-29 victory over the Toronto Argonauts for their seventh-straight win.
It took until late in the third quarter for Winnipeg (8-4) quarterback Matt Nichols to throw for his first touchdown, a 15-yard pass to Clarence Denmark to tie the game 29-29.
Kick returner Quincy McDuffie added another touchdown on a 98-yard runback while running back Timothy Flanders added a third on a two-yard run and Nichols carried it a yard for a fourth. Medlock's longest field goal came from 53 yards.
Dan LeFevour threw four touchdown passes for the Argos (5-7) and Lirim Hajrullahu added a single on a punt. LeFevour was intercepted twice.
Penalties hurt the Bombers, with seven in the first half compared with four handed to Toronto, and the game got off to a shaky start for both sides.
There was a short 37-yard kickoff from Bomber-turned-Argo Hajrullahu that left Winnipeg in possession midfield.
Then, after failing to get within scoring range, Winnipeg saw a snap go high over Medlock's head before he recovered the ball, picked it up and punted it out of bounds but only 12 yards from the line of scrimmage.
The Bombers got to within five yards of Toronto's goal-line but had to settle for a 13-yard field goal and it was LeFevour who scored the first touchdown with a six-yard pass to Diontae Spencer. It gave Toronto a 7-3 lead with just over three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Bombers made it 7-6 at the 3:24 mark of the second on a 48-yard field goal from Medlock in front of 25,943 at Investors Group Field.
Winnipeg was without the services of star running back Andrew Harris (lower body) but Flanders made a strong debut, helping to set up a 36-yard field goal from Medlock at 9:14 to put Winnipeg ahead 9-6. He had 46 yards in the first half alone.
LeFevour connected with Kenny Shaw for a 30-yard reception at 11:14 to make it 14-9 but the Argos had little time to celebrate. McDuffie returned Hajrullahu's kick 98 yards for a touchdown half a minute later and put the Bombers ahead 16-14.
Hajrullahu narrowed it to 16-15 with a single on a 67-yard punt, his best of the game, and LeFevour connected for his third touchdown of the game, an 11-yard pass to Tori Gurley with 21 seconds left in the first half.
That wasn't quite it, however, with Medlock kicking his 53-yard field goal to narrow it to 22-19 just before half.
LeFevour connected again with Shaw to start the third quarter for a three-yard touchdown that made it 29-19.
The Bombers also lost McDuffie in the second half with what looked like an injury to his left arm or shoulder.
Medlock hit for 46 yards to narrow it to 29-27 at the 7:36 mark of the third quarter before Nichols finally connected with Denmark to tie it up, then Flanders put the Bombers ahead 36-29 early in the fourth.
Hajrullahu missed a 38-yard field goal attempt and the Bombers ran it out to deny even a single.
Nichols added his major at 11:58 and a Moe Leggett interception, his sixth of the season, set the Bombers up for Medlock's final 31-yard field goal.