It's payback time

Bombers' Matt O'Meara prepares to head a soccer ball during practice at Canad Inns Stadium on...

Bombers' Matt O'Meara prepares to head a soccer ball during practice at Canad Inns Stadium on Thursday. (Sun Media/Marcel Cretain)

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

The Blue Bombers need no reminding that tonight's opponent was the same one that ended their season so suddenly in last year's CFL East Semifinal.

The Argonauts defeated Winnipeg 31-27 in Toronto, snuffing the Bomber hopes to represent the East in the Grey Cup that was played in their hometown.

So, it should be time for a little payback when Winnipeg plays host to the Argos at Canad Inns Stadium at 7 p.m.

"That's a big motivating factor, especially on my part because I did fumble at the end of the game last year and that probably led to us losing the game," Bomber tailback Charles Roberts conceded yesterday. "But they came up with the right things at the right time last year to be able to move on and we didn't. This isn't a playoff game; it isn't the same atmosphere as a playoff game but we definitely want to avenge that loss from last year."

That turnover, by the way, was converted into the winning touchdown.

Toronto receiver Arland Bruce III, who caught a 77-yard touchdown pass in that match, certainly understands Roberts' approach.

"If I was on the other side, I'd be thinking about that loss, too," said the ex-Bomber. "Winnipeg had a great year ... and we were fortunate enough to knock them off last year. I know they're going to have a chip on their shoulder from that game."

Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn concurred.

"We're motivated but that was last year," he said. "That stuff does play a part because this is the first time we've played them since then. But this is a new year, a clean slate. This is the first of three meetings against them and we want to make sure we win the series against them. So, we want to make sure that we get this first one at home."

Roberts, by the way, needs just 157 yards to become the club's leading rusher of all-time.

"It's possible," said Roberts, who ran the Argos ragged last season. "I've gotten 150 yards in a game before. But our main focus is winning the game. I plan on running the ball but they're defending the run a little bit better this year than they have in previous years."

Toronto head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons, however, is more concerned about Glenn than Roberts.

"We do have an understanding that their quarterback, Kevin Glenn, is probably at this point, the most underrated quarterback in the league," Clemons said. "He may very well be the best quarterback in the league and, to this point, has been the most efficient quarterback in the league.

"(Glenn) has what are maybe the best collection of receivers. They have size and speed and play with a lot of confidence. They are a well-balanced football team ... This is as good an offence that we will play against all year long. We have to play the best game we've played all year long to win here (tonight)." Winnipeg currently leads the CFL East with a 4-2-1 record while Toronto sits in third at 2-5. The Argos are trying to snap a four-game losing streak with their fourth different quarterback this season, Rocky Butler, making his second straight start.


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