The hero on Milt Stegall Night was none other than ... Milt Stegall (with a little help from Rob Pikula).
On the night when he was honoured in front of the adoring hometown crowd for becoming the CFL's touchdown king, Stegall made all the big catches when it mattered most to help the Winnipeg Blue Bombers escape with an ugly, 15-13 win over the reeling Toronto Argonauts.
Stegall, who was feted during a 20-minute pre-game ceromony, made two catches for 40 yards on Winnipeg's game-winning drive, which was capped by Pikula's 28-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining.
Most of the sellout crowd of 29,533 that remanined in the Canad Inns Stadium seats exploded in applause, and the Winnipeg win guaranteed that next weekend's Labour Day Classic clash against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina will be a meeting of division leaders.
"That's what I'm supposed to do," Stegall said of his crucial grabs. "They pay me a pretty piece of change. To (whom) much is given, much is expected.
"I was disappointed I dropped a couple of other ones. I'm supposed to make those catches."
The Bombers improved to 5-2-1 with their second straight win and lead the East Division by three points over the Montreal Alouettes, who host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats tonight. The Argos lost their fifth in a row and fell to 2-6.
Stegall also had three catches for 57 yards on Winnipeg's second-last drive of the game, which resulted in Pikula's 29-yard field goal and pulled the Bombers to within one, at 13-12, with 2:47 to go.
Stegall had nine catches for a game-high 151 yards.
"Milt all night," Bombers head coach Doug Berry said. "This is Milt Stegall night. Somebody had the great premonition to call it ahead of time, because he had a fabulous night."
The Bomber win covered up an ugly performance by their special teams. Pikula averaged 37 yards punting and missed a 27-yard field goal that resulted in a single point, Toronto's Michael Fletcher dashed 26 yards for a first down on a fake punt, Winnipeg returner Albert Johnson III had a 4.5-yard average on four punt returns, and the Argos punt returners averaged 23 yards.
"Toronto won the special teams," Berry said. "But they say if you win two of the three, you're probably going to win the game."
Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn showed good patience and completed 21 of 35 attempts for 299 yards before guiding the team on its second straight fourth-quarter comeback.
"Mark my words: This kind of stuff right here is going to pay off in the end," Glenn said. "It pays off when you have these type of games, and as an offence you can go down the length of the field and score in the fourth quarter. That helps you. Because this kind of stuff is going to come back up later in the season and in the playoffs -- and maybe in the Grey Cup."
Bombers tailback Charles Roberts had a four-yard touchdown run and finished with 25 carries for 108 yards. He now needs 49 yards to pass Leo Lewis and become the Bombers' all-time leading rusher.
Argos quarterback Rocky Butler was good on 14 of 25 for 152 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown toss to cornerback -- and part-time receiver -- Byron Parker. Noel Prefontaine booted 51- and 25-yard field goals for the Argos.