Blue Bombers extend win streak to five games with 47-17 thumping of Alouettes

WINNIPEG — Receiver Dalton Schoen and running back Brady Oliveira each scored a pair of touchdowns as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Montreal Alouettes 47-17 and extended their win streak to five games on Thursday.

The Bombers had to overcome a shaky start by quarterback Zach Collaros who threw three first-half interceptions in his return to action after missing the last game with a neck injury.

Two of the picks were returned for touchdowns by Montreal safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy and linebacker Tyrell Richards, who left the field on a cart midway through the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury.

The victory in front of a sellout of 32,343 fans at IG Field boosted Winnipeg’s CFL West Division-leading record to 9-2. Montreal had its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 6-4.

Collaros completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 240 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Cody Fajardo was back under centre for Montreal after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury. He went 14-of-25 passing for 137 yards and one interception. He also fumbled twice, losing one.

Winnipeg also got touchdowns from receiver Kenny Lawler and backup quarterback Dakota Prukop. Sergio Castillo hit field goals from 29 and 28 yards, but missed a 52-yard attempt. He made five of six converts.

Montreal kicker David Cote was good on a 42-yard field goal and two converts.

The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter. Winnipeg led 20-17 at halftime and 37-17 after the third.

On the first snap of the game, Collaros was escaping defenders and threw an interception to Richards, who ran 40 yards for a touchdown 34 seconds into the contest.

Castillo then went wide left on a 52-yard field-goal attempt.

The tide turned after a Winnipeg drive was boosted by Montreal penalties for unnecessary roughness and a face mask.

The Bombers finished the drive with Collaros’s four-yard toss to Schoen in the end zone with 51 seconds left in the first to make it 7-7.

After the Alouettes took a 10-7 lead 2:24 into the second quarter on Cote’s 42-yarder, Collaros tossed a 22-yard TD to a wide-open Schoen in the end zone.

Fajardo had an interception successfully challenged by Montreal for roughing the passer and the pick wiped away. The reprieve ended with a punt.

Collaros then threw his second interception, aiming for Lawler in double coverage but Dequoy got in front of him and grabbed the ball. The turnover led to a punt.

On Winnipeg’s next series, Dequoy stepped in front of a short Collaros pass and ran 57 yards for the TD with just under three minutes remaining.

Collaros made up for his mistake by engineering a four-play, 77-yard drive capped by Oliveira’s 26-yard TD run with 1:04 left in the half that gave the Bombers a 20-17 lead after Castillo missed the convert.

A trio of Montreal turnovers in the third quarter led to 17 more Winnipeg points.

Fajardo was intercepted by defensive back Winston Rose, resulting in Prukop’s one-yard TD plunge at 6:45 of the third quarter.

A snap then went off Fajardo’s fingers and the fumble was recovered by Bombers defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. The change of possession led to Castillo’s 29-yarder.

A Montreal turnover on downs was used by the Bombers for a 25-yard Lawler TD catch with two seconds left in the third.

Winnipeg went up 44-17 early in the fourth with Oliveira’s six-yard TD catch, then Castillo added a 28-yarder with three minutes left. 

PADDING HIS LEAD: Oliveira had 18 carries for 119 yards, stretching his league-leading rushing numbers to 158 carries and 902 yards.

OFFENSIVE DROUGHT: The Alouettes had 152 net yards of offence in the first half, but only 21 yards in the second half.

UP NEXT

Montreal hosts the B.C. Lions on Sept. 2. Winnipeg heads to Saskatchewan for the annual Labour Day Classic against the Roughriders on Sept. 3.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2023.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

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