Bombers stay hot in stretch

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are one of the hottest teams heading into the CFL playoffs.

The Blue and Gold jumped out to a 26-7 lead with most of their starters yesterday afternoon at Canad Inns Stadium and then cruised to a 44-30 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the regular-season finale for both squads.

Winnipeg won for the sixth time in its last eight games and finished with a respectable 8-10 record despite starting out 1-6. The Ticats finished dead last in the CFL at 3-15.

"I don't think any team over the last two months in the entire CFL is playing any better football, at least won-loss record-wise, than we are," Bombers head coach Doug Berry said. "... This is exactly the way you gotta be going to feel good about yourselves going into the playoffs.

"Coming from where we're coming from early in the year, we needed to have this type of strong finish to have a confidence that we can play in the playoffs."

Quarterback Kevin Glenn had a solid tuneup for the playoffs in front of 24,595 spectators, completing 11 of 14 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, 85- and five-yarders to Romby Bryant, before leaving midway through the second quarter.

"It feels real good," Glenn said. "You want to carry that over, so the more in the groove you can feel throughout the game ... you want to seize the moment and get every opportunity you can out of it."

Bryan Randall, who is Winnipeg's new backup thanks to Ryan Dinwiddie's high ankle sprain, took over and completed six of 12 attempts for 61 yards.

Winnipeg running back Fred Reid ran wild, dashing 14 times for a career-high 160 yards.

Kicker Alexis Serna made all four of his field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder. It was Winnipeg's longest field goal since Troy Westwood booted a 52-yarder in 2004.

Serna has made 11 of his last 12 field goal attempts, and his punting yesterday, most of it into the wind, resulted in a solid 38.9-yard average. Berry brought Serna into his office earlier this week and told him that he believed in him.

"That helps out a lot," Serna said. "I'm going into the playoffs with some confidence right now, and I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job kicking and punting as well."

Defensively for the Bombers, Jovon Johnson returned an interception 50 yards for his second touchdown of the season, and the Ticat quarterbacks were sacked five times.


Videos

Photos