Low-key celebration

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

Doug Berry celebrated his first playoff coaching victory by taking his wife out to dinner.

Then, as is usually the case after a game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers boss didn't sleep a wink. He instead watched the highlights of his team's 24-22 East Division semifinal win over the Montreal Alouettes on SportsCentre and then caught a Nicholas Cage flick.

The movie was called Next, which is fitting, because that's exactly where he and his players are already focusing -- on their next opponent.

The Bombers will travel to Toronto on Sunday to take on the Argonauts in the East Division final at Rogers Centre. The winner gets to play there one week later in the 95th annual Grey Cup.

Berry's low-key celebration following Sunday's thrilling finish, in which Troy Westwood booted a 20-yard field goal on the last play of the game, mirrored that of his players.

"I went home and celebrated with my wife and my daughter. That's it," said left tackle Alexandre Gauthier, who also notched his first CFL playoff win. "I just went home. I was a little tired after that game."

"I got something to eat, went home and laid down," said quarterback Kevin Glenn, who on Sunday got his first post-season victory as a starter. "I caught the second half of the Saskatchewan-Calgary game. That's pretty much about it. I'm not a rah-rah party guy."

"I just hung out with some of the guys on the team and talked to my girlfriend and spoke about the game," defensive tackle Jerome Haywood said. "That's about it."

The Bombers haven't advanced this far in the post-season since 2002, when they lost the West Division final to the Edmonton Eskimos, but as you can tell they are nowhere near satisfied.

"We have bigger plans than just the East semifinal, so we want to keep it a little bit reserved," receiver Jamie Stoddard said. "We want to do that again next week and the week after that. But now we've got Toronto and a big challenge ahead."

The Bombers were supposed to beat the Alouettes on Sunday, and the fact that it took the full 60 minutes to do it is a good indication they'll have to step it up a notch or two against the first-place Argos, who have won seven games in a row and nine of their last 10.

In addition, the Bombers are 3-15-1 at Rogers Centre in the regular season and playoffs since 1995. That includes a 31-27 loss to the Boatmen in last year's East semifinal, in which they blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead.

Berry, however, doesn't want his players to completely forget about Sunday's gutsy win.

"Maybe if it pulls us together it keeps us together," he said. "I know the locker-room was pretty exciting following that game. There was a lot of emotion, and hopefully we can carry some of that forward."

Sunday's hero, the embattled Westwood, sat at his locker until 7 o'clock, responding to 40 text and 25 voicemail messages, but not even he is letting the semifinal success go to his head.

"I got a lot of good support from friends and family," said Westwood, who is battling a nasty cold. "It was fun to bask in it, but the second I left the locker-room it was officially done, and all that matters is Sunday."


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