Milt gets his wish

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

The fans came looking for the record-breaking touchdown and instead had to settle for a win.

Milt Stegall likes the winning part, and he believe the fans do, too.

"It would've been nice to get the record at home, but the main thing is getting the victory," the Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback said. "I'm sure the fans are more happy with a victory than me getting a touchdown.

"... The touchdown will eventually come, but every victory we get is hard to come by."

Stegall failed to haul in what would have been his CFL-record 138th touchdown, but the Bombers still emerged with a 32-23 win over the Montreal Alouettes in front of a soldout crowd of 29,533, who were chanting Stegall's name throughout the night.

"I'm sure the marketing department is happy, because that means they can sell out another game," Stegall said.

It's not like Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn didn't try to guide Stegall into the record books.

After Terrence Edwards made a 20-yard catch over the middle at Montreal's eight-yard line in the second quarter, which was the closest Winnipeg had come to the end zone at that point in the game, the fans started chanting "Let's go Milt! Let's go Milt!" during the TV timeout.

Glenn went to Stegall in the end zone on the next two passes and again on Winnipeg's next drive, but they couldn't come up with No. 138.

Als cornerback Davis Sanchez knocked down the first attempt, and Stegall was interfered with on the second one, which set up Charles Roberts' one-yard touchdown plunge.

On the next drive, Glenn's first pass to Stegall was batted away by rookie Randee Drew, and the second one was overthrown, although the Bombers thought Drew interfered with Stegall by grabbing his jersey.

Fans started chanting "Stegall! Stegall! Stegall!" with a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Bombers kept the ball on the ground since they were nursing a nine-point lead and Glenn had already thrown two interceptions.

Stegall finished with four catches for 34 yards.

Even though fans were still streaming into the stadium before the game's start, Turtle Man received a partial standing ovation and a deafening cheer from the crowd during pre-game introductions.

They cheered again when his record-tying 137th major, which he scored last week in Edmonton, was shown on the video scoreboard.

Stegall actually had a glorious opportunity to break the record on Winnipeg's opening drive. He got past the coverage and was streaking toward the end zone, but Glenn didn't see him and instead threw an incomplete pass to Terrence Edwards.

"I was gone. I was about to come back and smack Kevin," Stegall joked.

Stegall mentioned on Wednesday that there was still some hatred between the Bombers and Alouettes, who had a nasty feud earlier this decade, and he found himself in the middle of some heated confontations last night.

Late in the first quarter, Stegall was furious with Sanchez after the Alouettes cornerback tackled him from behind in the buttocks area just after Stegall made a catch.

Stegall and Sanchez have history. Sanchez gave Stegall a concussion with a clean hit in June 2005, and last year he forced Stegall to miss a game with a hit that the latter felt was dirty.

In the second quarter, Stegall and Sanchez did some pushing and shoving that ended with Stegall ripping Sanchez's helmet off.

"We talked after," Stegall said. "That's just the intensity of the game."

Like an NHL enforcer protecting the star, Canadian receiver Jamie Stoddard stepped in for Stegall and continued the spat with Sanchez, eventually forcing the defender to take a 15-yard facemask penalty that resulted in Winnipeg's go-ahead touchdown.


Videos

Photos