Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeat Stampeders in come-from-behind victory

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers may have been down, but they were surely never out.

Down to the Calgary Stampeders in front of a home crowd in the first half, the Bombers used a momentum swing in the second half to take a 24-11 victory at IG Field on Friday night.

Zach Collaros threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the win, and Greg McCrae led the charge through the air with 73 yards and a touchdown as Brady Oliveira carried it on the ground with 72 yards.

On the defensive side, Willie Jefferson tallied two sacks for Winnipeg and Deatrick Nichols added three tackles for loss.

Jake Maier threw for 122 yards and an interception for Calgary in the loss and Dedrick Mills scored the Stampeders’ only touchdown recording 97 yards.

Coming off a bye week into the action, Calgary got on the board first thanks to a René Paredes 30-yard field goal, but it was their defence that was all over the Bombers, tallying an early sack on Zach Collaros and getting the ball back.

Moving downfield, Calgary was able to run the ball right down the middle of Winnipeg’s defence and a Dedrick Mills touchdown capped off a 10-play, 71-yard drive to score.

But Winnipeg’s momentum swung back starting with the defence, and Jefferson’s sack on Maier forced Calgary to punt on the drive and led to a Winnipeg score as Collaros found McCrae in space to take the ball 68 yards to the house for McCrae’s second career touchdown and first of the season.

With the game tied, Calgary’s defence still played strong, as a Mike Rose sack made it three times the Bombers quarterback had been sacked during the game, but Winnipeg answered shortly as the defensively line forced Maier to make a throw that Demerio Houston intercepted to get Winnipeg the ball back.

In response, the next drive the Bombers took less than three minutes to drive downfield, and in seven plays Collaros found Rasheed Bailey for a walk-in score, his second touchdown of the season, and Winnipeg’s first lead of the game.

A missed field goal started the fourth quarter for Calgary, but McCrae returned the miss 102 yards to the Calgary 13-yard line good enough to set up a kick for Sergio Castillo and extend their lead to 10.

With Calgary unable to move downfield, Winnipeg continued to find holes in Calgary’s defence to move downfield on a drive that took nine minutes and 45 seconds with Oliveria single-handedly carrying the ground game moving 61 yards in one drive to set up another Castillo kick.

While the Stampeders got the ball back, the Bombers defence forced another turnover on downs with just over a minute to go to seal the victory and move to 4-1 on the season while the Stampeders moved to 1-3.

The Bombers will head to Ottawa to face off against the REDBLACKS at 4:oo p.m. ET on July 15 at TD Place Stadium in Week 6 action, while the Stampeders will head to Saskatchewan to face the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

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