Zach Collaros throws 2 TDs, rushes for one as Blue Bombers beat Roughriders 45-27

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson called for better execution from his offence in the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but that goal fell short.

The Bombers left Mosaic Stadium as winners in a lopsided 45-27 win over the Roughriders.

“It’s good to get a win in Saskatchewan. Their fans are always loud and always try to make it very difficult for you. I thought our offence did a very good job of executing in this kind of environment,” said Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea.

Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros went 22/30, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for one in the win.

The rushing touchdown was Collaros’ first since 2015.

“That was a fun one,” he said. “It’s always fun to come in here and win.”

Back-up quarterback Dru Brown also punched in two touchdowns in the win for Winnipeg.

Kick returner Janarion Grant went 92 yards on a kick return to extend the Bombers’ lead to 30-21 deep in the third quarter.

“We’ve seen Janarion do it how many times now in the biggest moments, too. I think he stiff armed the entire unit,” said Collaros.

The Bombers now have 87 points in the first two games in the season.

“There’s things we can clean up,” said Collaros. “As a whole, I thought we did a good job execution-wise…when we get an opportunity down close to the endzone we’ve been able to get it in this year.”

The Roughriders matched the Blue Bombers early in the game, with quarterback Trevor Harris throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Harris suffered a hip pointer late in last week’s 17-13 win over the Edmonton Elks, leaving his status for Friday’s game doubtful.

He was hurt with Saskatchewan holding its four-point lead over Edmonton and the ball at the Elks’ 24-yard line with 10 seconds to play. Harris lined up in shotgun formation and rolled out to his right before throwing a pass downfield.
But he was hit hard after delivering the pass and was writhing in pain on the field. After initially struggling to get up, Harris managed to get to his feet before hobbling to the sidelines.

In Friday’s game against the Blue Bombers, Harrus threw several passes that were either incomplete or nearly intercepted but finished the night 29/44.

Roughriders wide receiver Samuel Emilus caught three touchdowns in the game to tie Saskatchewan’s single game record.

Emilus had seven passes for 100 yards and is one of three Roughriders to hit triple digits — the others being Shawn Bane Jr. and Tevin Jones.

“I feel like we had the game, but the second half they took it from us,” he said.

Despite Harris’ injury concerns, the Roughriders left him in late in to the fourth quarter, including a third down and 19 attempt where he ran for eight yards with just over two minutes left.

Winnipeg, who are now 2-0, opened their season beating visiting Hamilton 42-31, but what looked like a romp turned into a much closer game when the Tiger-Cats outscored the Bombers 14-3 in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers return to home field to host the BC Lions on Thursday.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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