The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are one win away from playing in the 99th Grey Cup game in Vancouver later this month and they can thank the B.C. Lions for the opportunity.
The Blue Bombers lost their final game of the 2011 Canadian Football League regular season schedule dropping a 30-24 decision to the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium. Winnipeg and Montreal finished tied for first place in the East Division with identical 10-8 records. The Blue Bombers will host the East final for the first time since 2001 because they won the season series over the Alouettes taking two of three games from Montreal. The Als needed a win over the Lions on Saturday night in Vancouver to clinch first in the East but were bounced 43-1 by B.C.
Winnipeg gave up 17 first quarter points before mounting a furious comeback which came up short in Calgary. The Blue Bombers, who were minus quarterback Buck Pierce, receiver Greg Carr and safety Ian Logan, trailed 24-0 but got back in the game with 17 unanswered second quarter points. Chris Garrett, Clarence Denmark and quarterback Alex Brink had the Winnipeg touchdowns.
Montreal will host Hamilton and Calgary visits Edmonton in the division semifinals on Sunday, November 13th. Winnipeg and B.C. have two weeks off to prepare for the division finals.
photo courtesy THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh