Blue Bombers defeat Ottawa REDBLACKS for first win

More than three years after his last start in the CFLChris Streveler was back under the lights on Friday night. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback guided his team to their first victory of the season at Princess Auto Stadium in a 22-16 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

A big night on the ground from Streveler and star running-back Brady Oliveira powered the Blue and Gold to get some revenge against the REDBLACKS after they lost in the nation’s capital in Week 2.

Starting under centre in place of the injured Zach Collaros, Streveler was 12-20, throwing for 116 yards. He added 69 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. Oliveira piled on 109 rushing yards off of 18 carries.

Ottawa starter Dru Brown exited the game with a head injury late in the second quarter and did not return to the field. Dustin Crum took over the reins for the entirety of the second half, going 7-10 for 90 passing yards as well as an interception and a fumble. Teammate Ryquell Armstead finished the game with 17 runs for 103 rushing yards and a fumble.

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Streveler and the Winnipeg offence got straight to business with the opening drive, leaning on their ground game to find some points early on. Streveler took off for a 27-yard run to get the Blue Bombers into the red zone, but a sack by

Streveler and the Winnipeg offence got straight to business with the opening drive, leaning on their ground game to find some points early on. Streveler took off for a 27-yard run to get the Blue Bombers into the red zone, but a sack by Michael Wakefield stopped the home team’s progress, resulting in Sergio Castillo nailing the game’s first field goal from 28 yards out.

Devonte Dedmon’s 21-yard punt return helped the REDBLACKS put points on the board on Ottawa’s second possession as they started their drive in Winnipeg territory. A deep look to Jaelon Acklin advanced the REDBLACKS offence into the red zone, where Lewis Ward tied up the game with an 18-yard field goal.

An 18-yard reception by Kevens Clercius kickstarted the Bombers on their first drive of the second quarter. After an illegal forward pass penalty set Streveler and co. back, Castillo finished off the possession with a 53-yard field goal.

Later in the quarter, more hard running from Streveler and Oliveira pushed the Bombers downfield. That duo carried the load on an 11-play, 70-yard drive which was capped off by Streveler powering into the end zone from a yard out for the game’s first touchdown. Castillo’s kick attempt after made it 13-3 for Winnipeg.

As Ottawa looked to get a score before halftime, Brown was forced out of the contest with a head injury and was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game. Crum took over at quarterback after the interval and was sacked early in the second half by Willie Jefferson, with the defensive end also recovering the ball on the play. The REDBLACKS defence was able to limit the hosts to a field goal, making the score 16-3 midway through the third quarter.

Ottawa got back into the game with a sustained drive highlighted by a couple of first down snags by Justin Hardy and Bralon Addison. Crum pitched in with a clutch 14-yard run to bring the REDBLACKS on Winnipeg’s doorstep. Armstead finished things off with his first CFL touchdown from four yards out to cut into the Bombers’ lead. Ward’s point after made it 16-10 with two minutes remaining in the third frame.

A 20-yard punt return by Chris Smith followed up by a 21-yard play through the air to Nic Demski led the Bombers back to their next score. Another 53-yard field goal by Castillo made it a two-possession game after the short four-play drive on offence.

The Bombers would get the ball back straight away thanks to Terrell Bonds‘ interception off of Crum after getting inside leverage on receiver Dominique Rhymes. A quick two-and-out on offence limited the damage for the REDBLACKS.

Castillo was called on from 49 yards out to extend Winnipeg’s lead to 22-10. Less than three minutes later, Ward responded with a 51-yard field goal of his own after an Armstead rush carried the REDBLACKS 31 yards down the field, making it 22-13 with 6:40 to go.

After the three-minute warning, Ward made it a one-score game with his leg, kicking the ball through the uprights from 35 yards to make it 22-16. The Bombers were able to see out the game with a sustained drive on offence, putting the game out of reach with Castillo’s sixth field goal of the night as the game finished 25-16 for Winnipeg.

In Week 6, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will welcome the Calgary Stampeders to Princess Auto Stadium on Friday, July 12. The Ottawa REDBLACKS and Edmonton Elks will close out the week’s action at Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday, July 14.

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