Lighting the fire under Blink

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Charles Roberts made a triumphant return to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lineup Thursday night.

OK, so maybe the tailback was leading the CFL in rushing yards and tied for the most touchdowns going into the game against the Montreal Alouettes, but Blink accomplished it all with little fanfare over the first three weeks of the season (mainly because of a guy named Stegall).

That changed at Molson Stadium, where Roberts led the Bombers in both rushing yards (95) and receiving yards (66) in Winnipeg's 20-18 win.

The turning point of Roberts' night appeared to occur late in the second quarter, when Als linebacker Diamond Ferri corralled him but then flipped him upside down and dumped him -- head first -- onto the turf.

Ferri got a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty and the Bombers plan to send a tape of the incident to CFL headquarters.

"I loved seeing Ferri get in his face cause I knew that was going to spark him," said Bombers GM Brendan Taman, who was on the sidelines Thursday night. "I thought, 'Oh boy, you don't know what you've done.' "

Roberts got stronger as the night progressed. He had 65 of his rushing yards in the fourth quarter, including a 16-yard touchdown romp that proved to be the game-winning score.

"That was phenomenal," Taman said. "He ran like a 6-foot-10, 310-pounder. He's a competitive man, and when you light his fire more than it's already lit ... look out."

Bombers head coach Doug Berry believed Roberts did nothing out of the ordinary, as he always plays like a man possessed.

"He's going to give us everything he's got every time," Berry said.

Roberts, by the way, needs 429 yards to move past Leo Lewis and become the franchise's all-time rushing leader.

STEGALL WATCH: Bombers slotback Milt Stegall was so happy about Thursday's win that he will lift his ban on touchdown record talk.

"The soap opera continues," Stegall said with a chuckle. "I might let you ask me about this week since we won the game. I guess I'm bipolar, huh?"

Stegall will be looking for record touchdown No. 138 on Friday against Hamilton. Even though he's getting a rough ride from defenders, Berry doesn't plan on saying anything to the officials.

"That's not my call," Berry said. "They probably already know what's going on."

Speaking of Stegall's record chase, the Bombers have already sold more than 20,000 tickets for Friday's match.

AND WE QUOTE: "Oh, no. I don't need a teenager right now."

-- Stegall, when it was suggested that Roberts, who was his road roommate this week for the first time, will want to continue with the arrangement.

LATE HITS: On Thursday night the Bombers had 165 yards of offence in the first three quarters and 164 in the fourth ... The Bombers will know more about the injuries to LB Neil McKinlay (knee) and DB Davin Bush (groin) tomorrow when the team returns to practice ... SB Terry Vaughn and LB Alondra Johnson will officially retire as Stampeders tonight during Calgary's home game against Toronto.


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