Canadian Football League

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Stegall hopes to set Canadian Football League record

If Milt Stegall catches the touchdown pass he needs to become the CFL's career leader, he will hold on to the ball.
He just won't keep it.
"My wife says I've got enough footballs at home," the Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback said Saturday as he prepared to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday. "There are plenty of balls for our son to play with, so we don't need any more balls."
Stegall, in his 11th CFL season, has 117 career TD catches, tying him with former Calgary slotback Allen Pitts for the most in league history. When Stegall caught the record-tying touchdown toss in last week's 41-39 road loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he casually tossed the football into the stands.
If Stegall catches No. 118 on Sunday, he will keep the ball only long enough to pass it on to a friend in Winnipeg.

"I promised it to somebody who asked me for it a while ago but even if I hadn't, I'd just give it to the ref or throw it in the stands," Stegall said. "It's really not a big deal to me.
"Some people may say that sounds crazy, but I'm just trying to win games and win the Grey Cup."
Stegall has scored 121 touchdowns during his CFL career, leaving him third all-time behind George Reed and Mike Pringle, who both scored 137 in 13 seasons.
But when the Roughriders and Bombers step on to the turf at Taylor Field on Sunday, both will be sporting different looks.
Winnipeg (3-7) will feature six new faces on offence from the unit that opened the season June 25 dropping a 42-15 decision to the Roughriders.
Conversely, Saskatchewan (3-6) will look to snap a five-game losing streak with six defensive starters who weren't with the club in June. In fact, three of them - defensive end Dwayne Lefall, linebacker Lamar Lee and defensive back Rontarius Robinson - will make their first CFL starts on the defence's strong side.
"It's going to be a challenge for them working against a very good receiving corps," Roughriders head coach Danny Barrett said. "They'll have their hands full, but at the same time we have total confidence in the guys we have on the roster to get the job done."
Saskatchewan's injured list has swelled to 13 players with the addition of defensive end Daved Benefield (knee), defensive back Davin Bush (ankle) and, as if to prove the team is cursed, linebacker T.J. Stancil, who wears No. 13. Stancil, an emergency starter last week when linebacker Jackie Mitchell suffered a groin injury, was named the CFL's defensive player of the week for his superb play in a 19-15 loss to the B.C. Lions. But he suffered a leg injury Wednesday in practice.
Still missing are defensive linemen Nate Davis (knee) and Terrell Jurineack (back) and safety Darnell Edwards (back), respectively replaced by Marcus Adams, Fred Perry and Scott Gordon.
Winnipeg coach Jim Daley has revamped his offence more out of choice than necessity, although his team's 0-4 start to the season was a clear sign he couldn't stand pat even with star players like Stegall and running back Charles Roberts. Against Saskatchewan, Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn passed for 158 yards and Roberts rushed for just 25 yards.
Since that loss, Winnipeg has revamped its offence with three new offensive lineman and three receivers. The front line has been bolstered by the addition of tackles Dan Goodspeed (cut, NFL's Washington Redskins) and John Feugill (cut, Toronto Argonauts) as well centre Aaron Fiacconi (trade, Montreal Alouettes). The receiving corps now features wideouts Chris Brazzell (trade, Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and Gilles Colon (back from broken finger) and slotback Darnell McDonald (cut, Montreal).
"The team has grown together and the chemistry is real good as far as the quarterback, the receivers and the offensive line getting to know each other is concerned," said Glenn, who has passed for more than 350 yards in each of his last three games. "Things are clicking now.
"Early in the season it wasn't like that."
An ankle injury Glenn suffered in the opener even had its positive side.
"We missed Kevin," Daley said, "but in his absence we had the opportunity to improve his supporting cast.
"Kevin now gives us a lot better chance to compete and he's playing with great confidence and intensity. We're a team that had a lot of work to do coming out of camp, and this is as hard-working a group as I've ever been associated with."
Winnipeg will play host to a rematch Saturday, so these two games could decide which team remains in playoff contention.
Should Saskatchewan win either game, it will claim the head-to-head season series, a feat it has accomplished only once (in 1994) against Winnipeg since 1975.


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