Blue Bombers prevail!

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have made the playoffs!

When it comes to good news, however, that's where it ends for the Bombers and their fans. The Blue and Gold are officially in the post-season for the third straight season under head coach Doug Berry, but they're going to have to improve -- substantially -- if they're going to have any kind of hope in the post-season.

The Bombers found out last night where they stack up against the league's best, and it does not look good after they got thumped 37-16 by the West Division-leading Calgary Stampeders in front of 30,110 spectators at McMahon Stadium.

UNLIKELY

The Bombers (6-10) clinched second spot in the East Division prior to taking the field thanks to Montreal's 43-34 win over the Toronto Argonauts and will host the East semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Canad Inns Stadium.

Its opponent will be the fourth-place finisher in the West Division, but it's unlikely to be Calgary, which improved its record to 11-5.

"It's not exactly the way you want to start your post-season tuneup," defensive tackle Doug Brown said.

Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn completed only six of 13 passes for 33 yards in the first half and got the hook at half-time. Winnipeg had more rushing yards (44) than passing in the first half.

Stamps pivot Henry Burris, meanwhile, was good on 28 of 36 attempts for 337 yards and five touchdowns. Brett Ralph had touchdown catches of 10 and eight yards, while Jeremaine Copeland (36 yards), Ken-Yon Rambo (33) and Teyo Johnson (10) each had one.

No Bombers defensive back was safe.

"They were just on point today," slotback Milt Stegall said. "They played great, and we didn't play well at all."

He's right. The Bombers had 123 passing yards, which was only five more yards than their rushing total of 118. Calgary had more than twice as many total yards (426) as Winnipeg (211).

It was that ugly, but Brown doesn't think the result is indicative of where the Bombers fit in the league's pecking order.

"I don't really think so, because it's like we've created a culture of coming out here and getting the dog s--- beat out of us," he said. "The last three years, no matter how good we've been in the standings, no matter how handily we might have beaten or competed with them at home, we've had this terrible, perennial affliction of coming out here and getting spanked.

"Knowing the improvements we've made over the last few weeks, it's just really disappointing to put together an effort like that."

Winnipeg has lost six straight at McMahon Stadium.

Bombers backup Ryan Dinwiddie gave the Bombers some sort of offensive life after taking over in the third quarter with a six-yard touchdown toss to Romby Bryant. He wasn't much better than Glenn, however, completing five of 12 passes for 61 yards.

If there was a bright spot for the Bombers, it was the field goal kicking of Alexis Serna.

'IT'S NICE'

The league's worst placekicker, who entered the contest with a 60% success rate, nailed kicks of 48 and 47 yards in the first half, and proceeded to add another 48-yarder in the second half. The last time he made a field goal that long was in Week 3, when he booted a 48-yarder.

"It's nice. I just gotta believe in myself. I'm just glad that I have great guys around me. They support me."

The Bombers travel to Montreal next Sunday to take on the Alouettes (11-5), who have already wrapped up first place in the East.

"We're looking forward to next week," Stegall said. "A home playoff game, we're not thinking about that. We got two more games left, starting with this next one.

"... We want to have some momentum going into the playoffs, so we want to just beat Montreal and go from there."


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