Bombers defeat Lions, wrap up regular season with record-breaking 15th win

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers wrapped up their most successful regular season in franchise history Friday night.

The Bombers defeated the B.C. Lions 24-9 at IG Field to finish the season at 15-3, the first time they’ve ever hit that mark.

In just one quarter of action, quarterback Zach Collaros all but locked up what will likely be his second straight CFL Most Outstanding Player award, throwing touchdown passes on Winnipeg’s first two offensive drives and giving the Bombers a 14-0 lead after a quarter.

“I thought we executed pretty efficiently,” Collaros said. “(O’Shea) came over to me and asked if I feel good and saw everything, and I said ‘yeah’ and he said ‘we’re going to take you out’ and that was pretty much the end of the discussion.”

Collaros finishes the season with 37 touchdown passes, which puts him second on the all-time Bombers single season list. Only Khari Jones (46 in 2002) threw for more touchdowns in one season as a Bomber.

Dalton Schoen and Rasheed Bailey were on the receiving end of the touchdown catches. Schoen finishes an incredible rookie season with 1441 yards and 16 touchdowns, which both lead the CFL.

The rookie receiver wasn’t gloating about his stats.

“All those personal accolades, that’s never really been important to me. That’s something that’s secondary,” Schoen said following the game. “I think, in hindsight, it will be pretty cool, but on the forefront of my mind is how do I do my job to make this team successful?”

Bombers coach Mike O’Shea said they accomplished what they set out to do in a meaningless game in the standings.

“Have Zach see the pictures, make sure we’re seeing clean football, get some guys some reps that needed some, get the guys who had missed some time back in the game, back in the flow,” O’Shea said. “It wasn’t sloppy, the guys did a good job of staying focused.”

READ MORE: Zach Collaros named Bombers top player again

The Lions kicked two field goals in the second quarter while the Bombers booted one, to make it 17-6 at the half.

The lone touchdown of the third quarter came when Bombers fullback Mike Miller plunged in from one yard out for his first touchdown of the season.

Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke started the game and only played until early in the second quarter, going 7 of 11 for 68 yards in his return from injury, after missing more than two months.

Bombers running back Brady Oliveira rushed for 72 yards on just nine carries, putting him at 1,001 yards for the season, his first 1,000-yard season.

“The way that I started this season, nobody thought I would be here getting 1,000 yards. I think it’s just a testament of all the hard work that I’ve put into this,” Oliveira said. ‘That’s not just my 1,000 yards, that’s our 1,000 yards. The offensive line is a privilege to run behind.”

The Bombers will now have the week off before hosting the West Final on November 13, where they will play the winner of the Lions and Calgary Stampeders, who meet in the Western Division Semifinal November 6 in Vancouver.

 

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