The Blue Bombers rookie kicker hit a 45-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in his first pro start and Winnipeg defeated the Calgary Stampeders 18-16 on Sunday.
“It’s a first game you’ve been dreaming of,” said Liegghio, a 24-year-old Western University player from Woodbridge, Ont.
“I never thought my first game would come to this. I’m just happy that I achieved all of my goals on the pitch and helped the team to the victory in the end. I missed that first (dot after) early on and wanted to make sure I was going to be perfect from that point on.
“It’s a pretty exciting feeling to hit a winner and I will remember that moment forever. “
Liegghio had actually attempted a 35-yard shot and missed it, but the Bombers (3-1) were called up for a time tally violation, so he got a second shot from 45 yards and looked at the ball. pass.
Making his professional debut in place of injured Tyler Crapigna, Liegghio also scored field goals at 50, 42 and 37 meters. He missed the convert after a touchdown from Andrew Harris.
Veteran Calgary kicker Rene Paredes had a chance to win the game with two seconds left, but he missed a 52-yard goal – his first miss of the season.
Paredes had a 33-yard field goal with 1:49 remaining to give his team a 16-15 advantage before Winnipeg returned for Liegghio’s memorable kick. Paredes has also scored on 35 and 39 yards, putting him at 12 of 13 this season.
Harris, who makes his CFL debut after missing the first three games with a calf injury, finished with 17 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown in front of 22,806 fans at IG Field who cheered after his first run .
“When you have the ball in your hands and you feel like you can still do the things you’ve done, it’s always a great feeling,” said Harris.
He was also impressed with Legggio.
” It’s incredible. It’s a lot of pressure, ”said Harris. “This has to be one of the most rushed jobs on the team. Putting him in this situation, and he knows his counterpart, Paredes, has a big leg too.
“He did an incredible job. He was cool, calm and collected. I’m really proud of what he did today, and he’s going to build on that.
Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros completed 16 of 25 passing attempts for 243 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Stampeders rookie quarterback (1-3) Jake Maier started a Calgary club record with 17 consecutive assists. He finished 30 of 39 for 307 yards with no touchdowns and no pick.
Making his second start in place of injured veteran Bo Levi Mitchell (broken leg), Maier was a perfect 16 of 16 in the first half, added another finish early in the third and then had an assist. incomplete.
Maier didn’t want to talk too much about the record, but said the moment of pride was one he shares with his teammates and coach.
“It concerns everyone,” Maier said. “I know it’s a cliché for me to say it, but it’s absolutely true. Once the ball leaves my hand, it’s up to the guy on the other end to make the play.
“Like I said to someone earlier, I mean it has a lot to do with the appeal of play and efficiency and locking Coach (Dave) Dickenson into his game plan and to take the ball out of my hands, which makes it easier to read it. “
Calgary halfback Ka’Deem Carey ran eight times for 66 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown.
“That’s why I’m not down, because I really feel like our team is improving and we’re fighting,” said Dickenson.
Winnipeg led 6-3 after the first quarter. Calgary led 13-9 at halftime and had a 13-12 advantage after three quarters.
“Sometimes things like this can be great for a team, especially at the start,” Maier said. “I think that puts us to the test of combat. It won’t always work your way.
“It boils down to one yard, it boils down to maybe a turnaround, it boils down to a kick, it boils down to a big incompletion that takes us off the field. “
A Calgary penalty for rude the passer helped the Bombers get close enough for Liegghio’s winning kick.
The Stamps took 10 penalties for 104 yards, compared to Winnipeg’s eight flags for 70 yards.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 29, 2021.