Leos' secondary scorched

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Geroy Simon spent an entire week trying to warn Tony Tiller and the rest of the B.C. Lions secondary about Milt Stegall.

It didn't help one bit.

Stegall, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers all-star slotback, burned Tiller, a rookie defensive halfback, at least three times and finished with four touchdowns yesterday in Winnipeg's 44-23 victory.

'CRAFTY'

Simon, a former teammate of Stegall's in Winnipeg and a superb slotback himself, was one frustrated man after the contest.

"The guy is crafty," sighed Simon, who led the Lions with six catches for 95 yards. "They watch him on film, and they think he can't run. I've been telling them all week: The guy is still fast, one of the fastest guys in the league behind me, and he just make plays.

"He's not a legend for nothing. He does it every year. The guy has a million touchdowns, a million yards.

"I don't know. I'm sure those guys were playing their best and doing their best, but I just told them to watch out for him, because he's tough."

The man running the Lions defence this season is none other than former Bombers head coach Dave Ritchie, who was fired last August.

The look on Ritchie's face after Stegall's 101-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the fourth quarter -- sort of a knowing smirk -- said it all.

"All we did was talk all the days we've been getting ready that Charlie (Roberts) could run and Milt could catch," Ritchie said. "We were zoning him, he manned him and we double-covered him. None of it worked. He had a great game.

"Milt's a great player. Milt probably, in my estimation, should get into the Hall of Fame the day he quits playing. He's outstanding."

Stegall's heroics led to B.C.'s third-straight loss after 11 consecutive victories to start the season. Their West Division lead on the second-place Edmonton Eskimos has shrunk to just four points.

"I don't know what it is, but we need to figure it out fast, because this losing stuff isn't good," Simon said.

OUCH UPDATE: The Bombers lost two players to suspected season-ending injuries in the first quarter.

It's believed WR Chris Brazzell broke his left leg and DB Santino Hall tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

BY THE NUMBERS: Bombers RB Charles Roberts had 17 carries for 83 yards. He also threw a pass on an option play, but it was intercepted by Lions S Barron Miles, who finished with two picks ... Lions RB Antonio Warren had 10 carries for only 26 yards, and B.C. finished with just 76 rushing yards overall. The Bombers allowed an average of 204 rushing yards in their four previous games ... The Lions had 17 penalties for 223 yards, which is the sixth-most in a game in CFL history.


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