While the ultimate victory for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is hoisting a third straight Grey Cup Sunday, they got a little taste of winning Thursday, dominating the podium at the CFL Awards.
Headlining the night was quarterback Zach Collaros, who took home the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Thursday night for the second straight year, the first player to do so since Anthony Calvillo won in 2008 and 2009 with the Alouettes.
The last Bomber to win back to back MOP awards was Dieter Brock back in 1980 and 1981.
“This is an amazing accolade,” Collaros said. “It’s not lost on me the history of the league, and those who have won it twice and to be mentioned with any of these people is crazy.”
Collaros wasn’t the only back-to-back Bombers winner.
Head coach Mike O’Shea was named the Annis Stukus Trophy winner as Coach of the Year for a second straight season as he guided the team to a 15-3 record, the best season in franchise history and a West Division title.
Stanley Bryant continued to add to his resume as one of the best offensive lineman in CFL history, winning his second straight Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award and fourth of his career (also won in 2017 and 2018).
Bryant gave credit to his fellow linemen.
“We’re brothers, we laugh together, cry together, fight together, none of this is possible without these guys,” Bryant said.
And rounding out the Bombers award winners was Dalton Schoen, who won the Most Outstanding Rookie award. His 1,441 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns not only led rookies, but also the entire CFL.
He also made 70 catches, with 41 of them on second downs, extending drives.
“It truly is the people around me,” said Schoen on his reasons for winning the award. “For the Blue Bombers we have incredible culture, an incredible organization, we have the best player in the league throwing the ball, and a phenomenal O-line.”
Other big winners included Ottawa DL Lorenzo Mauldin IV who won Most Outstanding Defensive Player after leading the CFL with 17 sacks.
QB Nathan Rourke of the BC Lions won Most Outstanding Canadian after his remarkable injury-shortened season, where he completed 78.7 per cent of his passes in 10 games, a CFL record, and posted the second highest passer-rating of all time.
And Mario Alford of the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player Award after scoring four return touchdowns and picking up 1,689 kick return yards.
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