Calvillo contained

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Winnipeg offence may have come through under the strangest of adversities, but that overshadowed the job its defence did yesterday.

The Blue Bombers held quarterback Anthony Calvillo and the potent Alouettes offence to under 30 points for only the second time this season as Winnipeg won 24-23.

Part of that was due to a much-improved secondary.

"The thing with Calvillo, he wants to unload the ball pretty quick and we started making him hold the ball up a bit, and that made him a little more uncomfortable," explained defensive back Kelly Malveaux.

"All throughout the season, he's been completing the short passes with the rub and the pick and things like that. The defensive line came in at the half and said, 'We need a second more, just hold your coverage a second more.'

"We did our job on the back end and they did their job and kept him uncomfortable in the pocket."

The Bomber offence also kept the Montreal offence off the field by staying on it.

"We wanted to do two things, one was to disrupt Montreal's offence and the other was try to create a rhythm of our own," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "I felt that we were able to do some of that today and probably did it more than we thought we'd be able to get away with."

Beating the Als in Montreal is a confidence-booster for the sometimes fragile Bombers.

"That's big," Malveaux said. "Hopefully that's a premonition of what's to come. We can't get ahead of ourselves and get overconfident. But we beat a good football team (yesterday). We have to take care of business next week and make sure we do it also in that first round of the playoffs."

Winnipeg plays host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday before the Edmonton Eskimos come to town for the East Division semifinal on Nov. 8.

HAPPY KAI: Bomber DE Kai Ellis, who took some shots at Als GM Jim Popp before the match, was all smiles afterwards.

"It felt pretty good," said the ex-Alouette. "I did not want to lose to Montreal in Montreal, knowing that I came back for the first time since being released.

"Hopefully, we'll be back for the East Final but we've got to take care of business in the first round first."

Yet the Bombers did make a statement.

"I think we played a pretty good game that will earn us some respect because they've beaten us two times already," Ellis said.

BUSY DEBUT: Rookie Canadian RB Daryl Stephenson was pressed into action when starting tailback Joe Smith suffered a twisted knee early in the second half.

"I'm happy that I got the opportunity and I tried to make the most of it," said Stephenson, who rushed for 16 yards on seven carries and caught an eight-yard pass.

"It was a little crazy and my heart was racing but I just focused on carrying the ball and getting what I can to help the team win."

HURTING: QB Ryan Dinwiddie may have suffered the worst injury (sprained ankle). He and Smith will have their hurts checked out today. The Bombers have QB Timmy Chang waiting in the wings and RB Fred Reid stayed home nursing a rib injury. CB Willie Amos suffered an undisclosed injury late in the game.

---

BOMBERS REPLAY

GAME NOTES

Top offensive player

Winnipeg receiver Terrence Edwards caught seven passes for 91 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown grab from a Kevin Glenn offering. And many of his snags were of the spectacular variety. Honourable mention to tailback Joe Smith, who rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries before twisting his knee early in the third quarter.

TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER

There are several candidates here but let's give it to the much-maligned Bomber secondary. With Kelly Malveaux returning to halfback and Willie Amos back at one corner, the pass defenders effectively held one of the most potent attacks in the league. Amos, Stanford Samuels and Jovon Johnson all made key plays.

TOP SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER

Winnipeg kick returner Jason Armstead gets the nod over placekicker Alexis Serna because Serna missed an easy 26-yard field goal, even if he did boot the winner. Armstead returned six punts for 61 yards -- including a 33-yarder -- and three kickoffs for 92, including a 42-yarder. Serna also did a solid job of punting so he gets an honourable mention.

KEY PLAY

Serna kicked a 33-yard field goal with 1:32 left in the game to give the Bombers the margin of victory. Remember, this is the guy who was pushed all week by kicker Travis Dorsch.

SMACK OF THE MATCH

Montreal linebacker T.J. Hill stuck Bomber running back Joe Smith, standing him up and stopping him in his tracks despite a full head of steam on one play.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Bomber tailback Joe Smith ripped off a 31-yard gain, deking and running through defenders in the first half.


Videos

Photos