Defence opened door

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

It is strange how a defensive play can often kick the offence into another gear.

Winnipeg's goal-line stand translated into the winning touchdown in its 20-18 CFL victory over the Alouettes in Montreal on Thursday. And do not think for a single moment the two were unrelated.

The Bombers stopped the Als on three cracks from the Winnipeg two, with middle linebacker Barrin Simpson stuffing Montreal running back Robert Edwards on third and one at the one.

"It gives the offence a sense of life," Blue Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn said yesterday. "When the defence does something like that, you want to go out there and match it because they went out and gave it their all to stop them on the one yard-line."

Glenn then led the Bombers on their most impressive drive of the season thus far.

"It's a tough thing as an offence to go 109 yards but you want to go out there and match what the defence just did because it gives you some momentum," Glenn said.

EXCITED

"They were more excited than we were. They felt part of the 109-yard drive just like we did. It was like they were out there catching the ball, throwing the ball, and that's what a team is about."

The drive was punctuated by a splendid 16-yard touchdown romp by tailback Charles Roberts.

"Geez Almighty, it was a great run," said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry. "He must have made two guys miss, for sure, and maybe a third."

Roberts accounted for 48 of the 109 yards on just four carries.

"That was a character builder right there," said Bomber slotback Milt Stegall. "First of all, the defence held, so we said, 'Let's at least get this ball out of here.' But then, we got some momentum going and we're like, 'We're about to go down here and score!'"

The stand also indicates that the defence is getting closer to the one that scared the bejeezus out of opposing offences last season.

"When you get all those opportunities from the one and the defence keeps coming up (big), to me, it was a little bit reminiscent about how we were playing last year," Berry said.

"We were faced with a situation and we stood up ... The defence is faced with third and goal at the one, bingo. The offence is faced with first down and 109 yards away, respond. Huge momentum shift right there."

And it was a huge jump in the East Division standings where Winnipeg took over top spot, at least temporarily.

"It was a big win in Montreal against a good team," Glenn said.

"Whenever you can go into Montreal and get a win from them, it's a real good thing -- especially to distance ourselves from them in the standings and to get the upper hand on them in the head-to-head battle."


Videos

Photos