CALGARY – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were overwhelmingly led in the second half by a 35-14 victory over the Calgary Stampeders as they qualified for the Western Final.
The Bombers' defense was imperative for the win after eliminating Stamps quarterback Boosti Bo Levi Mitchell and leaving no Stampeder points in the second half.
Winnipeg used both Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler to win. Collaros threw a touchdown pass to Darvin Adams and Streveler scored the major goal in the deciding game at the end of the fourth quarter.
This loss was the first for the Stampeders in the playoffs since 2013.
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Zach Collaros and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offense were the first at McMahon Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The team used Collaros and Chris Streveler in their first training – Streveler had a short length and a pass to Janarion Grant – but the Stamps defense held on, forcing the Bombers off the pitch.
In Josh Huff's first draft of Bo Levi Mitchell, a defensive pass interference was called against DB Mike Jones, bringing the Stamps offense to the Bombers' five-yard line. After two hasty attempts by Don Jackson and Ante Milanovic-Liter, Nick Arbuckle scored a few points and was handed over to Reggie Begelton.
This score, as well as René Paredes' convert, gave the local team a 7-0 lead.
While the Stampeders had just 30 seconds early in the game, Jones redeemed for his previous DPI call, which led to a touchdown, resulting in an interception on a Huff pass on the Bombers' seven-yard line. .
This reversal resulted in the Bombers attack – which was held two out of two after possession of the ball in the first quarter – returned to the field with 16 seconds on the clock.
Collaros used Darvin Adams for 37 yards, Kenny Lawler for 12 and Andrew Harris for four. The turnover did not turn into a point and they were forced to beat the arena.
The first points of the Bombers' ball game came from a safety since Mitchell was called for an intentional grounding in the end zone. The score was 7-2 at the beginning of the second quarter.
Collaros started moving the chains on the field during their next workout, but had to settle for one goal. Justin Medlock started a 34-yard training with 8:38 to go in the half to reduce Calgary's lead to 7-5.
Begelton scored his second touchdown with two minutes before halftime. The 19-yard score, along with Paredes's converted convert, extended the lead lead to 14-5.
Once again, the Stampeders' defense forced the Bombers to score a goal on the next training for the Blue and Gold. Medlock made his 52-yard attempt, his second goal of the game, to reduce Calgary's lead to 14- 8. This would be the last score game of the first half.
Streveler entered the game for some games in Winnipeg's first half-time training, including a quick pass for third and third, a 17-yard run and a pass to Nic Demski. Demski found a hole out of the backfield and ran into the end zone without touching a major 33-yard score. After the Medlock point, the Bombers took their first lead of the match (15-14).
The Winnipeg team eliminated the scoreboard in the third quarter and Mitchell did not throw a single shot in 15 minutes.
To start the final quarter, Medlock started his third goal of the game, finishing the race with a goal of 42 yards. That prolonged the Bombers' lead to 18-14.
After defeating Calgary two goals or more, Winnipeg continued to score in the second half. Collaros relayed the game to Adams, who was behind Stampeder defenseman Tre Roberson and found himself in the end zone for 71 yards. In addition to the completed convert, Winnipeg extended its lead to 25-14.
Once again, the Winnipeg defense made things difficult for Mitchell and his co. Nick Taylor intercepted Mitchell and brought the Bombers back to the field.
This turnaround led to a 45-yard mark on Medlock's field goal, which raised the shot and extended Winnipeg's lead to 28-14.
The Stampeders offense was no easier when they picked up the ball. Mitchell has launched another interception on the next disc. This time it was Mercy Maston who made the rollover.
That put the Bombers in goal position and that's Streveler who scored a 39-yard touchdown. In addition to the converted, the Winnipeg lead was extended to 35-14, while there was 5:41 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Once again, Winnipeg's defense held up as Mitchell tried to move the strings and forced the Stampeders to turn the ball over on the eve of the three-minute warning.
There would be no points in the last three minutes and Winnipeg qualified for the Western Final on November 17 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.