Blue back on top

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Bomber fans better grab those green and white pom-poms, pop in a shot of liquid courage if you have to and start singing: Green is the color, football is the game. We're all together, and winning is our aim.

That, for those who are unaware, is one of the Saskatchewan Roughriders' fight songs, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their fans will be cheering loud and hard today for their rivals to the west.

The Bombers moved back into first place in the East Division after hanging on for a 20-17 win over the Montreal Alouettes in their regular-season finale last night at Canad Inns Stadium in front of a season-low crowd of 23,744.

The Bombers finished the regular season with a 10-7-1 record, which gives them their most victories since they won 11 in 2003.

However, the Toronto Argonauts (10-7) can move back into first place and get the bye to the East final with a win over the host Roughriders this afternoon.

If the Argos are victorious today, the Bombers will host the third-place Alouettes (8-10) in next Sunday's East semifinal. If the Argos lose, Montreal will visit Toronto next Sunday and the Bombers will meet the winner on Nov. 18 at Canad Inns Stadium.

Damon Duval's 15-yard field goal, with 6:39 remaining in the fourth quarter, was the only scoring in the second half last night, as the Bomber offence fell flatter than a pancake.

Troy Westwood had a chance to pad the Bomber lead in the third quarter, but he missed field goal attempts from 49 and 43 yards.

The Alouettes marched down the field late in the third and got to the Winnipeg 16 thanks to Gavin Walls failing to fall on a Marcus Brady fumble and Kelly Malveaux dropping a sure interception.

Walls, however, made up for it by sacking Brady on second-and-15. Dario Romero's objectionable conduct penalty pushed Montreal back to Winnipeg's 42, and Damon Duval missed a 49-yard field goal that Keith Stokes returned to the 49-yard line.

Winnipeg's offence wasn't as hot, and six drops by the receivers for the second straight week didn't help. The Bombers managed only 20 yards of total offence on 10 plays in the third quarter and had only two first downs in the second half at the three-minute warning.

Winnipeg finally did something in the final three minutes, however, as quarterback Kevin Glenn got Winnipeg out of the shadows of their own goal post with a 34-yard pass to running back Fred Reid, who had an outstanding game.

Bomber punter Pat Fleming pinned the Als on their own three-yard line, and Brady couldn't manage a first down.

Reid, filling in for the injured Charles Roberts, had eight carries for a whopping 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and finished with 17 carries for 139 yards overall. He scored on an 18-yard run on Winnipeg's first drive and added a one-yard plunge in the second quarter that tied the game at 14-14.

Reid's second score was set up by Robert Bean's punt block on Damon Duval that allowed the Bombers to start at Montreal's 12-yard line.

The Als tied the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter when running back Avon Cobourne, filling in for the injured Jarrett Payton, scored on a three-yard run, and Brady's 19-yard touchdown toss to Ben Cahoon early in the second quarter gave the visitors a 14-7 edge, which was greeted by boos from the Bomber faithful.

Westwood booted 30- and 21-yard field goals late in the final two minutes of the second quarter to give Winnipeg a 20-14 lead at the break.

Glenn completed 15 of 29 passes for 196 yards and an interception. Brady was good on 13 of 35 attempts for 235 yards, a touchdown and a pick.


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