WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- After throwing for three first-half interceptions, quarterback Matt Dunigan brought the Winnipeg
Blue Bombers back from a 15-point deficit to beat the Baltimore CFLs, 39-32, before 22,398 at Winnipeg Stadium last night.
Dunigan threw for four touchdown passes and ran for another, as the Bombers (2-2) moved into a first-place tie with the CFLs and Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League's East Division.
The Bombers rallied from a 25-10 deficit to tie the game at 25 after the third quarter.
Dunigan, who completed 32 of 52 passes for 435 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, sent Winnipeg ahead in the fourth quarter, when he finished off a 74-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak.
Three times in the drive, the Blue Bombers converted second-down plays. The first was an 18-yard scramble by Dunigan to the Baltimore 49.
On second-and-3 from the CFLs' 28, Dunigan hit wide-out David Williams along the sideline for 13 yards to the 15.
Then on second-and-10 from the 15, he found Williams for 11 yards to the 4, beating Karl Anthony.
Dunigan threw a three-yarder to Blaise Bryant to the 1 and then bulled right on second down for the score.
"Matt got in a zone and we couldn't get any heat on him," said Baltimore coach Don Matthews. "We need to get more heat than that. Give them credit. Their players played very well in the second half."
After a Baltimore punt, the Bombers drove 67 yards in seven plays to their fourth touchdown of the second half for a 39-25 lead.
From midfield, Dunigan threw completions of 19 and 16 yards to Chris Johnstone, and 13 to Gerald Wilcox to move the ball to the 7.
Rolling right on first down, Dunigan threw to a crossing Wilcox for the touchdown. Wilcox finished with 11 catches for 146 yards and two scores.
Baltimore pulled within a touchdown when quarterback Tracy Ham scrambled 25 yards for a touchdown on third-and-10. Ham ran untouched down the right sideline, then dove for the goal line when Winnipeg defenders caught him.
Baltimore had the ball with 2:09 left and a chance to tie the game, but Ham threw incomplete on third down at the CFLs' 47.
"We seemed to lose momentum," said Ham, who was 20 of 36 for 288 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. "Matt got a hot hand. We went two and out early in the fourth quarter. It's a lull we're having each week. This week it cost us."
Baltimore had Winnipeg's defense on the run in the first half. The CFLs scored on six of eight possessions to open an 18-10 lead.
Ham threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Walter Wilson to close out a 75-yard drive on Baltimore's first series.
Ham pushed the team downfield with passes of 14 yards to Shawn Beals and nine yards to Peter Tuipulotu. An 18-yard run by Mike Pringle moved the CFLs inside the Winnipeg 30.
After Ham was sacked, Wilson got behind cornerback Ken Burress at the 2 and backed into the end zone with his second TD of the season to give the CFLs a 7-3 lead.
Baltimore spent the rest of the half lining up for field goals and intercepting Winnipeg quarterback Matt Dunigan.
Donald Igwebuike, who missed two 45-yard field goals last week, had to settle for rouges after missing from 50 and 46 yards.
But he hit field goals of 27, 30 and 42 yards, all in the second quarter, and accounted for 12 points of the CFLs 18 points.
Free safety Michael Brooks and cornerbacks Anthony and Irvin Smith intercepted passes in the second quarter against the erratic Dunigan, who completed nine of 20 passes for 123 yards in the half.
Brooks' pick came on an overthrow of slotback Gerald Alphin, but after a 17-yard return, Baltimore was able to get only a single off the turnover.
Anthony snuffed a Winnipeg threat on the next series when he intercepted Dunigan in the end zone on a pass for Williams. Nose tackle Jearld Baylis chased Dunigan out of the pocket on the play.
Smith returned his interception 41 yards for a touchdown -- but saw it wiped out when O. J. Brigance held Dunigan on the return.
With 19 seconds left in the half, Igwebuike drilled his 42-yard field goal.
Baltimore nearly scored again when Stan Petry rambled 48 yards -- from deep in his end zone -- after Troy Westwood missed a 38-yard field goal. Westwood made a TD-saving tackle at the 33.
Dunigan struck for one touchdown, a 19-yarder to Williams, after Baltimore was flagged for two pass interference penalties late in the second quarter.
Charles Anthony was called for interference on a pass to Williams, and Ken Watson was flagged on another pass for Williams. Anthony had three knockdowns earlier in the half.
The interference call on Watson was the second against him in two series.
Ham completed 13 of 20 passes for 199 yards and rushed twice for 24 more in the first half. Wilson had six catches for 85 yards. Baltimore had a 268-161 edge in total offense at halftime.
Winnipeg scored on only two of its first nine possessions.
The least penalized team in the league through three games, the CFLs were penalized seven times for 82 yards in the first half.
Baltimore increased its lead to 15 points on the first series of the third quarter, when Ham threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Beals. That made it 25-10.
Revived at halftime, Winnipeg's offense struck for two third-quarter touchdowns to pull within 25-24.
Dunigan finished off the first TD drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Williams, who made a spectacular diving catch in the end zone to beat Smith. That made it 25-17.