Tale of two halves

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

The top dogs in the East went toe-to-toe last night -- for awhile, anyway.

When the dust settled, the Montreal Alouettes were still proud owners of the division's biggest bite, leaving the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to wonder where they stand after showing signs of early promise.

ALOUETTES 44 BOMBERS 16

The Als just plain beat up on the Bombers, outscoring them 35-1 in the game's final 31 minutes and cruising to a 44-16 thumping in a hotly contested CFL clash at Canad Inns Stadium.

The Alouettes improved to 4-0, while the second-place Bombers had their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-2.

"We're still the same team," said Bombers slotback Milt Stegall. "We just happened to lose a game. We're 3-2. We'll still have our swagger, we're still confident.

"We'll get it going next week."

Winnipeg has five days off before taking on the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

It was hard-hitting, smashmouth football last night in front of 28,131 riled up spectators, and the Bombers got the worst of it, losing four players, including two starters, to injury.

Offensive linemen Dan Goodspeed (knee) and Matt Sheridan (groin), along with backup quarterback Mike Quinn (suspected concussion), all left last night's game in the first half. Then they lost O-lineman Aaron Fiacconi (knee) in the second half.

Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn said playing with two defensive tackles on your O-line (Jon Oosterhuis and Martin Lapostolle) limits what the offence could do.

"It limits what you can do as far as your game plan that you went in with," said Glenn.

The Bombers had a 15-9 lead with a minute left in the second quarter, but Mike Vilimek's one-yard plunge, which came after Montreal converted a rare, onside punt, gave the Alouettes a lead they would not relinquish.

The Bombers managed just 108 yards of net offence in the second half, at the same time giving the Alouettes prime field position.

That helped Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo throw for three touchdowns -- a six-yarder to Thyron Anderson and 14- and six-yarders to Robert Edwards.

Calvillo added a two-yard run for a score.

"The defence, they were holding it off for awhile, but offensively it took us forever in the second half just to move the ball across the 50-yard line," said Stegall.

There was also plenty of griping from the Bomber sideline about the penalties, 18 of which were given to Winnipeg that totalled 162 yards.

'COMPLETELY UNFOCUSED'

"We should have kept our heads in the game and stayed focused," said Bombers linebacker Barrin Simpson. "We just got completely unfocused."

Glenn completed 14 of 28 passes for 262 yards, which included a 75-yard touchdown strike to Chris Brazzell on Winnipeg's first play of the game.

Troy Westwood added field goals of 38 and 27 yards and a 53-yard single. Montreal also surrendered a safety.

Calvillo completed 27 of 45 attempts for 261 yards, while Duval booted field goals from 42, 41 and 40 yards.

LATE HITS: Bomber LB Kyries Hebert made his debut last night and appeared to intercept Calvillo late in the fourth, but it was overturned after the play was challenged ... Westwood had a solid performance in his first game as the punter, averaging 42.7 yards on 10 punts ... The Bombers offence hadn't committed a turnover in three games going into last night's action, but Glenn was intercepted by Kai Ellis in the second quarter and Milt Stegall lost a fumble in the fourth ... Quinn was in the game in the second quarter after Als linebacker Timothy Strickland, leading with his helmet, smacked Glenn in the back. Glenn returned for the next series.


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