Stomped by Stamps

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

CALGARY -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers aren't mathematically eliminated from the CFL playoff race, but they might as well be after last night's performance.

Stampeders 30 Bombers 21

In a game that some considered a must-win for both squads, the Calgary Stampeders scored 21 points off turnovers and stomped the bumbling Bombers 30-21 in front of 30,128 sun-soaked spectators at McMahon Stadium.

The score was not indicative of how close the game was, as Winnipeg, which lost starting quarterback Kevin Glenn to an injured thumb in the first quarter, got two late touchdowns from third-string rookie pivot Russ Michna.

Calgary (3-3) moved into a tie with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-4) for third place in the West Division, while Winnipeg (1-6) tumbled further into the basement.

Winnipeg's next game is Saturday night at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the only CFL squad worse than the Bombers at 0-6.

The Blue and Gold haven't been much lower than they were after last night's game. Running back Charles Roberts refused to speak to the media, and backup Tee Martin, who completed just four of 13 passes for 64 yards and was intercepted twice, stopped his interview short.

"There aren't really too many positive things I want to say, so I'm going to stop talking," he said.

"If I keep talking, I'm gonna talk about the bad stuff, and that's exactly what everybody wants to hear. And I'm not going to be the guy to do it."

Veteran Bomber fullback Wade Miller clarified that those players were just upset with yet another loss and not each other.

"I'll tell you what: Nobody is pointing fingers," Miller said. "That's not the nature of this team. And that is the thing that you can hang your hat on and take a little solace in, is the fact that this team doesn't do that s---.

"Whether it's offence or defence or special teams, nobody does that. If there is a positive out of tonight, you can take that. This team sticks together."

The Bombers may be playing together, but they're doing it rather poorly. Winnipeg head coach Jim Daley aimed the bulk of his criticism squarely at the receiving corps.

Daley counted at least six dropped balls. The glaring ones were courtesy of Kamau Peterson, who was later pulled from the game, Vinny Sutherland and even Milt Stegall.

"We never were allowed to sustain a drive," Daley said. "I think we had six dropped balls that ended drives on second down.

"It makes it impossible to play quarterback on this team if our receivers can't catch."

Glenn completed two of six passes for 30 yards before leaving late in the first quarter. Glenn's thumb collided with charging Stamps linebacker John Grace, and it made it impossible for him to grip the ball.

"It's frustrating, especially when you come off an injury, come back out and play like we were playing," said Glenn, who will have X-rays done today in Winnipeg. "And then for this to happen, it's one of those things like, 'Why me?' You just have to keep your head up and hope it's nothing major."

Despite two interceptions and a fumble, Stamps quarterback Henry Burris played well. He stayed in for just three quarters, but he completed 15 of 25 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns to Nik Lewis (17 yards) and Jeremaine Copeland (61).

Joffrey Reynolds added a four-yard touchdown run for the Stamps, who led 20-5 at halftime and 29-8 after three quarter.

Calgary's three scores came a combined six plays after three Winnipeg turnovers -- two picks by Martin and one by Glenn.

Michna, who started the fourth quarter, was the only reason Winnipeg had a respectable 319 yards of total offence. He completed 10 of 17 passes for 139 yards and the two late touchdowns to Stegall (nine yards) and Keith Stokes (33).

"It was OK," Michna said. "I'm always going to sit here and tell you about the balls I missed ... but that's part of the learning process."


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