The scene was set and the hometown fans were on the edge of their seats hoping to witness history in the making last night.
They filled the stadium hoping to see Winnipeg slotback Milt Stegall score the record-making major. Knowing their favourite Blue Bomber was only one touchdown away from scoring 138, the excitement built throughout.
But history will have to wait. Instead, another drama unfolded.
Recently-acquired kicker Rob Pikula, who replaced veteran placekicker Troy Westwood, connected on a 35-yard field goal with 1:47 left in the game to salt away a 32-23 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in a CFL match before a capacity crowd of 29,533 at Canad Inns Stadium last night.
"I just thought that I needed to hit it," said Pikula, who had missed one from the 30 earlier in the game. "The first two quarters, I was really nervous. As you could tell, my kicking wasn't the way I had kicked ...
"I bounced back in the second half, sitting back relaxing ... It felt great (to make it). I hope to see many more of them sail through like that." Winnipeg improved to 1-0-1 on the season and atop of the East Division with three points. The Als fell to 0-2.
The Bombers had rebounded from a 13-0 first-quarter deficit to record the victory. Winnipeg out-scored the Alouettes 22-0 in the second quarter to take a 22-13 lead into the second half.
Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 22 of 38 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns. That included a 19-yarder to slotback Chris Brazzell, who made a circus catch in the end zone with 12 seconds left in the first half.
"I was going through a little adversity with some dropped balls," admitted Brazzell. "I needed that catch to get my confidence back." Glenn also completed a 62-yard TD toss to former Alouettes wide receiver Terrence Edwards.
"You see what happens when you try to cover me too much," said Stegall.
"Other guys will be open, and that's what happened (last night).
"We're in the driver's seat. No matter happens the rest of the weekend, we're going to be in first place. That's a good feeling. It's still early, but we know what we're capable of doing. We just have to continue doing it."
Safety Greg Bearman actually got the Bombers on track when he recovered a Mike Imoh fumble in the end zone on a second-quarter punt return.
"That was my first (touchdown) in the CFL," said Bearman, adding that it came at an opportune time. "It was more of a spark. You make a play when it comes to ya and hopefully, everybody feeds off it and it kind of turned around and went our way."
Bomber head coach Doug Berry concurred.
"We got the big turnover there in the second quarter with special teams," he said. "We got a touchdown and that seemed to turn the momentum of the game in our favour. And the offence continued to move the ball and the defence got itself into a groove, which was good to see."
After a slow start, the defence chased Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo all over the field.
"Guys were getting sacks left and right, and that's the style of football we like to play," said Bomber defensive end Gavin Walls, who had two of the seven quarterback sacks.
Bomber running back Charles Roberts also scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Pikula scored a single on the wide try.
Montreal running back Robert Edwards scored a one-yard TD while kicker Damon Duval had field goals of 40, 51, 22, 37 and 33 yards with a single on a wide try.