WINNIPEG - Wrestling legend Ric Flair said “To be the man, you gotta beat the man” every time he defended the World’s Heavyweight Championship. In the CFL, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are “the man” and will be “the man” until someone can knock them off. The “flavour of the month” BC Lions found out the hard way last night that all the hype and media attention doesn’t amount to anything until the ball is kicked off.
Quarterback, Zach Collaros led the defending champs to a 43-22 over BC, as Winnipeg improves to a perfect 5-0 to start the season. Collaros completed 23 of his 30 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns, providing a clinic for BC’s quarterback Nathan Rourke to watch and take notes. Rookie receiver Dalton Schoen was targeted a team-high 10 times, reeling in eight passes for a season-high 117 yards and two touchdowns. Greg Ellingson caught 3 passes for a touchdown as well. Winnipeg also pounded the ball on the ground for 141 rushing yards and a touchdown, with Johnny Augustine leading the charge with 12 carries and 57 yards.
The Bombers' defense smothered the Lions with three interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a sack applying so much pressure forcing Rourke to make mistakes. Rourke finished 16 for 25 for 278 yards. Winnipeg’s special teams were also spectacular; Janarion Grant returned the game’s opening kickoff 97-yards for a touchdown. He would have had another, but a Bomber penalty negated it, costing a Save on Foods customer a million dollars in their Touchdown to Win contest.
With the win, the stage is set for another battle of unbeaten team as the Bombers host the 4-0 Calgary Stampeders Friday night at IG Field. Kickoff is 7:30pm (680 CJOB, TSN 3).