Winnipeg Blue Bombers dominate in win over Roughriders in Labour Day rematch

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday in the Labour Day Weekend rematch at IG Field.

Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros led the way for his team in the 54-20 win, throwing four touchdowns, 273 yards and no interceptions.

Receiver Nic Demski scored two major scores for the Bombers while pass-catchers Rasheed Bailey, Dalton Schoen and Brendan O’Leary-Orange each found the end zone once. Quarterback Dakota Prukop also got in on the scoring, adding two short yardage touchdowns and backup Dru Brown also had a passing touchdown. Marc Liegghio was good on both of his field goal attempts.

Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo scored a touchdown on the ground while also completing 15 of 18 passes for 124 yards through the air in the losing effort. Returner Mario Alford took a kickoff to the end zone while Brett Lauther was good on both of his field goal attempts.

» Box Score: Bombers, Riders by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
» Bombers proud of complete team effort in win over Riders

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hit the field first on Saturday afternoon with Collaros and his offence getting to work on their opening drive of the game.

The home team moved the chains effectively, marching down the field to set up Nic Demski‘s opening touchdown. Winnipeg used their weapons through the air and on the ground in the 10-play, 73-yard drive. Quarterback Dakota Prukop came in for two QB sneaks for a pair of first downs on the possession, and Brady Oliveira also got involved on the ground and through the air, including a 19-yard run followed by a four-yard gain on the ground just before Collaros threw a 16-yard strike to Demski. Marc Liegghio missed his convert and the Bombers settled for a 6-0 lead with just under nine minutes left in the first quarter.

Winnipeg’s defence then did their part on the ensuing drive, holding the Riders to a two-and-out after a pair of rush attempts from Fajardo and Hickson.

Collaros and co. picked up where they left off on their second possession of the game. On the second play of the drive, Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea challenged that there was defensive pass interference on Nick Marshall who was covering Drew Wolitarsky and the challenge was successful, moving the chains 10 yards. Collaros then used Oliveira and Rasheed Bailey (who had a 17-yard and 13-yard catch on the drive) followed by a 17-yard run from Prukop, bringing the team down to the Riders 20-yard line.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Bombers were on Saskatchewan’s three-yard line and Prukop plunged forward into the end zone for the team’s second major of the afternoon, finishing the drive that started in the first frame. Liegghio connected on his convert, capping off the drive that consisted of 13 plays and covered 82 yards, increasing Winnipeg’s lead to 13-0.

The Riders next drive started with a pair of rushes from Hickson (17 yards and three yards, respectively) followed by three-straight completions to Kyran Moore for 24 yards, four yards and six yards. Later on in the drive, the Riders went for it on third-and-five, and got the fresh set of downs with a nine-yard pickup from Shaq Evans.

With defensive pass interference called on Jamal Parker in the end zone, who was covering Moore, a few plays later, the Riders offence set up on the Bombers one-yard line. Fajardo’s first attempt at the QB sneak was unsuccessful, but was able to plunge in on the second attempt. With the completed point after, the Riders’ 16-play drive that covered 86 yards cut Winnipeg’s lead to 13-7 with seven minutes left in the half.

Winnipeg responded with a touchdown of their own as Demski scored his second touchdown of the contest on the Bombers ensuing possession. The drive was aided by a pass interference call on Derrick Moncrief, who was covering Demski, moving the chains 39 yards down the field. Demski’s 18-yard catch-and-run score capped off a six-play drive that ended with a completed convert to extend the team’s lead to 20-7.


With about a minute and a half left in the half, the Bombers hit the field and added to their score once again. Rasheed Bailey took a four-yard pass from Collaros and ran for 30 yards before stretching out to touch the pylon at the corner of the end zone for the major score. With the completed convert, Winnipeg added to their lead with 30 seconds left on the clock (27-7).

The Riders had one more chance with the football in the first half, and moved down the field to set up a 53-yard field goal attempt from Brett Lauther with two seconds left on the clock. Lauther was good on the attempt and the Riders tacked on three more points to their score, cutting Winnipeg’s lead 27-10 at the break.

On the first play of the third quarter, Mario Alford took Liegghio’s kickoff all the way to the house. The 92-yard major score and Lauther’s convert cut the Bombers lead to 27-17.

Winnipeg responded with a field goal on their ensuing drive, as Liegghio connected on his 45-yard attempt. The five-play scoring drive was highlighted by a 28-yard catch by Dalton Schoen, his second of the contest. The score added another three points to the home team’s lead (30-17) just three minutes into the half.

The Riders appeared to have scored a touchdown the next time they hit the field with Moore finding the end zone, but a holding call brought the major score back. Saskatchewan settled for a field goal as Lauther nailed his 34-yard attempt, cutting into Winnipeg’s lead (30-20) with just under six minutes left in the third frame.

As the seconds were ticking off the clock in the third quarter, Collaros tossed a 10-yard pass to Brendan O’Leary-Orange for his first career CFL touchdown. The score, which capped off a nine-play, 60-yard drive, along with the completed convert, increased the Bombers lead to 37-20.

After the Riders were held to a two-and-out early in the fourth quarter, the Bombers wasted no time adding more points to their total. Liegghio was good on his 23-yard field goal, increasing their lead to 40-20 with under 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

Fajardo and co. hit the field looking to respond but Willie Jefferson had a strip sack and Jackson Jeffcoat recovered, turning the ball over to the Bombers offence. It wasn’t Collaros under centre, however, as the team replaced him with Dru Brown.

On the fourth play of the drive, a defensive pass interference penalty was called on DB Roland Milligan, who was covering Demski in the end zone, moving the Bombers down to the Riders one-yard line. Prukop plunged in for his second short yardage touchdown of the evening adding to the Bombers lead (47-20) with just over six minutes left in the game.

On the next possession for the Riders, Jake Dolegala took over for Cody Fajardo for the remainder of the contest.

Winnipeg DB Winston Rose hauled in an interception with two minutes left on the clock. The Bombers would cash in on the turnover with a touchdown as Schoen hauled in a 11-yard touchdown from Brown. The score, and the completed convert, increased Winnipeg’s lead to 54-20 for the win.

Next up for the Blue Bombers is a meeting with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday afternoon while the Riders host the the Edmonton Elks on Friday night.

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