Stegall says everyone to blame for defeat

KIRK PENTON

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence is taking a lot of heat in the wake of the 43-22 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Milt Stegall is saying, "Hey, don't forget about the offence."

The Bombers slotback said the offence deserves its share of the blame for Friday's 43-22 meltdown in Steeltown, and he has a point, considering the Bombers fumbled the ball three times inside field-goal range.

"We had a couple of good drives -- the first drive and the drive where (Derick) Armstrong scored -- but then we'd get some drives and we'd just turn the ball over," Stegall said. "You can't continue to do that if you want to win some games."

He even believes Winnipeg's No. 1-ranked offence should have kept pace with the Ticats, who lit up the scoreboard at almost every opportunity.

"Offensively, we gotta find a way to answer when they do those things," Stegall said. "Teams are going to score on our defence. You just can't continuously stop folks. We just couldn't find a way to answer."

Through six games, however, head coach Doug Berry is happy with how his point-getters have played. He won't let Friday's game distort the fact that Kevin Glenn and Co. are cooking.

"I'm real happy with the offence. I'm really happy," Berry said.

"We're moving the ball, there's no question about that."

YOU NEVER KNOW: Stegall will keep every touchdown ball from here on out, just in case it's his last.

The CFL's new touchdown king, who is very likely to retire after the season, will break his own record with each ball he hauls in for a major. He caught No. 140 on Friday night in Hamilton and carried the pigskin back to the bench.

"Somebody told me to keep the balls now, so I guess I gotta keep the balls," Stegall said after Friday's loss in Hamilton. "But sometimes I want to throw them back to the refs after a loss like that."

Stegall, 37, is still at the top of his game. He had four catches for 91 yards on Friday and leads the league with 497 yards on 30 receptions.

LATE HITS: Even though DB Kelly Malveaux was the nearest Bomber on two of Maas's touchdown passes, Berry said the veteran played well. The coach said there was a mistake elsewhere on one of the scores ... The Ticats were 6-for-6 on second-down conversions in the third quarter on Friday ... The B.C. Lions are expected to have starting quarterback Buck Pierce, linebacker Otis Floyd and defensive back Korey Banks back in the lineup for Friday's game against Winnipeg ... The Bombers return to the practice field today at 1 p.m.


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