Blue Bombers defeat Calgary Stampeders in battle of unbeatens

WINNIPEG — Carlton Agudosi caught a pair of touchdowns in his CFL debut to lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 26-19 win over the Calgary Stampeders in a battle of unbeatens on Friday night.

Bombers defensive back Demerio Houston sealed the victory at IG Field in the final minute with an incredible interception in the end zone on a pass that bounced out of the hands of Kamar Jorden after he hit the ground.

Agudosi had extended Winnipeg’s lead late in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard touchdown grab. The six-foot-six receiver utilized his large frame on both of his touchdowns while finishing with 70 yards on six catches.

Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros continued his strong season by completing 27 of 38 passes for 315 yards and the two touchdowns.

Greg Ellingson was Collaros’ primary target on the night with a game-high 152 receiving yards on 11 catches.

Bo Levi Mitchell completed 12 of 28 passes for 187 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss.

Stamps running back Ka’Deem Carey had his biggest game of the season with 110 yards on 12 carries, while Reggie Begelton led Calgary in receiving with 82 yards and a touchdown on four grabs.

» Box Score: Bombers, Stamps by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Stamps at Bombers
» Watch: Agudosi shines for his first CFL touchdown

The Bombers struck first with a 48-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio on their opening possession, but the lead was short-lived. Winnipeg’s defence forced a quick punt on Calgary’s first possession, but return specialist Janarion Grant was stripped of the ball by Stamps linebacker Silas Stewart, who also recovered the fumble inside Bombers territory.

Mitchell took advantage of the short field by converting the turnover into a touchdown on the next play with a 19-yard strike to Begelton. Rene Paredes kicked the convert to put Calgary up 7-3.

Collaros nearly matched Mitchell’s touchdown pass to start the second quarter, but receiver Dalton Schoen was unable to secure the catch in the end zone in heavy traffic, as defensive back Brad Muhammad broke up the play. The Bombers settled for a 17-yard field goal from Liegghio to cut Calgary’s lead down to one point.

Mitchell led the Stamps’ offence into scoring range on the next drive, but a big sack from defensive tackle Casey Sayles on second down derailed the drive. Paredes salvaged it with a 50-yard field goal to give Calgary a 10-6 lead.

Winnipeg reclaimed the lead late in the second quarter with an eight-play, 76-yard touchdown drive. Ellingson extended the drive early on with an incredible 15-yard catch on second down, somehow getting his left foot down in bounds before momentum carried him out.

Agudosi capped off the drive with a beautiful 16-yard touchdown catch, jumping up and high-pointing the ball over defensive back Tre Roberson near the right corner of the end zone. Liegghio kicked the convert to give Winnipeg a 13-10 lead with under two minutes left in the second quarter.

Paredes tied the game just before halftime with a 39-yard field goal.

The Stamps started with the ball in the second quarter, and Mitchell gave his team a spark with a 45-yard strike to Begelton. Carey followed it up on the next play with a 29-yard run to move the ball inside Winnipeg’s 10-yard line.

But the Bombers’ defence rebounded by forcing back-to-back incompletions, and Calgary settled for a 14-yard field goal from Paredes to take a 16-13 lead.

Liegghio missed a 36-yard field goal on the next drive, but Winnipeg was awarded a first down due to a penalty on linebacker Charlie Moore for making contact to the kicker.

The Bombers’ capitalized on the field position, as a 16-yard catch from Ellingson set up a one-yard touchdown run from Dru Brown on a quarterback sneak. Liegghio added the extra point to give Winnipeg a 20-16 lead.

Peyton Logan returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards, and Carey broke off a 27-yard run to quickly move the ball deep into Winnipeg territory. Calgary opted to go for it on third down, but Mitchell’s pass fell incomplete as Begelton collided with fellow receiver Malik Henry in the end zone.

Logan had a 63-yard punt return touchdown negated by a holding penalty early in the fourth quarter, but the Stamps were able to cut the lead down to one point five plays later with a 48-yard field goal from Paredes.

Winnipeg will next face the Edmonton Elks (2-4) on the road next Friday at 9 p.m. ET, while Calgary will have a bye week before hosting the Bombers in a rematch on Saturday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET.

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