WINNIPEG - Dave Ritchie would have been proud.
The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach relished the underdog role and the Bombers adopted that approach heading into Montreal hobbling on a two-game losing streak.
The Bombers then beat the defending champion Alouettes 25-23 and now boast the best record in the CFL at 8-3.
“We’ve been on top of the league for the past few weeks,” Bombers defensive back Alex Suber said Tuesday. “We took two losses and then, they said we weren’t on top of the league — but we were actually first. It was just the next game and we wanted to win. We wanted to win, win, win.
“To be the best, you want to beat the best and by the media, they’ve (Alouettes) been ranked the best and throughout the league, they’ve been ranked the best.”
The Bombers had just been blown out in back-to-back games against the struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg quarterback Buck Pierce was nursing sore ribs.
“A lot of people had the deck stacked up against us,” Pierce said. “Our locker room didn’t see it that way but, to go out there and win in a tough environment against a very, very good football team does a lot for us.”
CAN BE BEST: Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice told Pierce he has a chance to become the best QB in the CFL.
“I’ve always felt that myself,” responded Pierce, named the CFL’s Offensive Player of the Week. “Whether it’s true by the end of my career, I don’t know. I’m always striving for that and that’s what he’s always pushing me to be and I think that’s great. My expectations for myself are very, very high and coach’s expectations for me are very high as well. So, I take it as a compliment and I will continue to work towards that goal.”
The other POW’s were: Saskatchewan DB Chris McKenzie (defence), Toronto kicker Noel Prefontaine (special teams) and Edmonton running back Jerome Messam (Canadian).
COSTLY TRIP: Four Bombers will pay dearly for missing the team flight to Montreal, namely DBs Deon Beasley and Jerry-Ralph Jules and defensive linemen Kenny Mainor and Fernand Kashama. Beasley forgot his photo ID, while the other three were with Mainor.
“I had a little car trouble,” Mainor said. “It was acting up on me.
“It really does (suck), but things happen.”
But all four were relieved that the Bombers pulled out the victory.
“It’s a lot better,” Mainor said. “It kind of lightens the mood a lot more, the good with the bad.”
It is believed that they will face fines for missing the team flight, team meetings and possibly, missing curfew since their re-booked plane — paid out of their own pockets — landed late Saturday night.
BACK AT IT: The Bombers, who had the last two days off, return to practice Wednesday morning.
— With files from Kirk Penton