for this game

Bombers clinch playoff spot with win over Cats

Oct 8, 2011 - 3:53 AM Hamilton, ON (Sports Network) - Buck Pierce threw for 239 yards and a touchdown as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers downed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 33-17, to clinch their first playoff berth since 2008.

Pierce, who sat out last week with sore ribs, ran for 24 yards and a score for the Blue Bombers (9-5) who swept the season series with Hamilton, 3-0.

"I felt good," said Pierce. "The week off last week helped. [The ribs] are what they are. I was able to play."

Kevin Glenn completed 13-of-20 passes for 109 yards and an interception for the Tiger-Cats (7-7).

The Blue Bombers set the tone early, as Justin Palardy hit a season-long 49- yard field goal and Alex Brink found paydirt with a one-yard run for a 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Justin Medlock then offset a pair of Winnipeg singles with a 27-yard field goal towards the end of the second quarter, as the Blue Bombers took a 12-3 lead into the half.

A pair of electrifying plays allowed Winnipeg to bolster its lead in the third quarter. First, Pierce hit Greg Carr for a 59-yard touchdown strike. Later, Brandon Stewart recorded an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown to put the Blue Bombers on top 26-3. It marked the longest interception return for a touchdown this year for Winnipeg.

Hamilton's Quinton Porter, who finished with 93 yards on 6-of-9 passing, hit Chris Williams for a 28-yard touchdown strike in the fourth to make it a 26-10 game. But again the Blue Bombers responded, as Pierce scampered into the endzone from four yards out for a 33-10 lead.

The Tiger-Cats tacked on a late touchdown on Porter's one-yard plunge to cap the scoring.

"(It's) good to know," said Pierce on the playoff berth. "But our expectations are a lot higher than just making the playoffs."

Game Notes

The Blue Bombers now lead the Alouettes by two points in the East Division...Winnipeg leads the league with 45 forced turnovers.