Milt's the man

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

He's been called Turtle Man, Chocolate Milt and the Touchdown Beagle, but now Milt Stegall has a new title: the Touchdown King.

The 37-year-old Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback not only broke the CFL's all-time touchdown record last night against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Canad Inns Stadium; he shattered it.

Stegall scored a touchdown in the second quarter to become the league's touchdown leader with 138, moving past legendary running backs George Reed and Mike Pringle.

Then, just in case someone is thinking of going after his record, Stegall added touchdown No. 139, a 35-yard reception, with 1: 38 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal Winnipeg's 36-18 triumph over the Tabbies.

Stegall, in his 13th and likely final season with the Blue and Gold, made history when he caught a one-yard shovel pass from Kevin Glenn with 6:43 left in the second quarter, and the third straight sellout crowd of 29,533 exploded.

"It's a great feeling," Stegall said afterwards, wearing a commemorative T-shirt marking the occasion. "Two great players, great gentlemen, had the record -- Mr. Pringle and Mr. Reed -- and they both wished me well.

"The fact that they did that made this accomplishment even more meaningful."

On the milestone play, Stegall lined up on the left side of the offensive line, but he to the right as the ball was snapped. Glenn faked a move towards the endzone and then tossed the ball to Stegall, who juked past Tay Cody and into CFL immortality.

"I actually messed it up," Stegall said. "I was in front of Kevin. I guess I was just so excited. I was supposed to be behind him. He adjusted well, and he got it to me, and I made a guy miss, and I scored."

It was Stegall's fourth catch of the drive. His 20-yard, leaping grab over Cody got Winnipeg to the Hamilton one-yard line.

After Troy Westwood kicked the point after, the game was stopped, something Stegall didn't want to happen, and CFL chief operating officer Michael Copeland came onto the field for a presentation.

The fans were on their feet, chanting "Stegall! Stegall! Stegall!" throughout the eight-minute stoppage, which included a brief video tribute on the video scoreboard.

"I gotta thank God, I gotta thank my beautiful wife and son in Atlanta, my mother, my brothers and sisters, all the fans across the CFL," said Stegall, who looked emotional at times, "but specifically the Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans!"

"I was emotional," Stegall told reporters afterwards. "What made it so emotional was the fact that it was in front of a sellout crowd. These fans are screaming my name, screaming my number.

"I'm not one to cry. I just sweat a lot, so that covers up the tears. It's definitely a great feeling to do it at home."

The Bombers will also honour Stegall before Winnipeg's next home game, on Aug. 24 against the Toronto Argonauts.

"That a receiver has that record is unimaginable," said Westwood, who has seen every one of Stegall's TDs.

Stegall tied the record nearly a month ago, on June 28 in Edmonton, and had been held without a major in his last three matches.

Stegall's accomplishment is a one that likely won't be duplicated for some time. The active player closest to Stegall is Toronto Argonauts receiver Darrell (Mookie) Mitchell, a 35-year-old in the twilight of his career who has 95 majors.

Glenn was giving all the credit to Stegall after the game, although the record-breaking pass will always be tied to him.

"It will look good to say it was a pass from Kevin Glenn and get my name put next to it," he said. "But everybody will remember Milt. He's the guy."

---

THE PASSERS

The list of those who have thrown touchdown passes to Milt Stegall:

Player TDs

Khari Jones 59

Kevin Glenn 30

Kerwin Bell 9

Chris Vargas 8

Kevin McDougal 7

Reggie Slack 7

Jay Walker 4

Pat Barnes 4

Russ Michna 2

Troy Kopp 2

Mike Quinn 1

Brian Ah Yat 1

Kent Austin 1

Dexter Dawson (RB) 1


Videos

Photos