TORONTO (CFL.ca) - Redemption never felt so good for Terence Jeffers-Harris.
Jeffers-Harris scored two touchdowns, including the winner on an 84-yard passing play to rally the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 33-24 win and spoil the Toronto Argonauts home opener Saturday.
Last week, the sophomore receiver shouldered the blame for Winnipeg's 21-20 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. It was his untimely fumble that resulted in backup quarterback Joey Elliott suffering a season-ending knee injury after making the tackle.
On Saturday, Jeffers-Harris took Buck Pierce's short pass, broke two tackles then sprinted down the sideline to give Winnipeg (3-1) a 27-24 lead at 1:51 of the fourth. More importantly, it came just 51 seconds after Chad Kackert's two-yard run put Toronto (1-3) ahead 24-20.
Jeffers-Harris finished with five catches for a game-high 107 yards.
A helmet-to-helmet hit sidelined Toronto starter Cleo Lemon just six minutes after the opening kickoff.
Lemon started impressively, guiding Toronto on a seven-play, 64-yard scoring drive on its opening possession, capped by Kackert's 11-yard run. Lemon was 5-of-5 passing for 58 yards on the possession.
But he was forced out on Toronto's second possession. Winnipeg linebacker Joe Lobendahn delivered a glancing blow to the side of
Lemon's head following a 15-yard run to the Bombers' 26-yard line.
No penalty was called despite the impact knocking Lemon's headgear flying and causing nerve damage to a tooth that prevented him from returning.
Toronto booted a field goal on that drive under backup Dalton Bell. And while Bell's TD pass gave the Argos a 14-point lead to end the first, he never got into sync against the CFL's top-ranked defence. Bell was 13-of-27 passing for 169 yards with two interceptions and also lost two fumbles.
"He (Lemon) was having a great first half,'' Barker said of his often-maligned quarterback. "Cleo had his tooth knocked to the nerve and they froze it but he couldn't come back. That's sad. It was the best quarter he has played.''
Lemon's status for next week's game in Edmonton remains unclear.