Home » The Canadian Press » Blue Bombers Extend Win Streak with 47-17 Thumping of Alouettes

Blue Bombers Extend Win Streak with 47-17 Thumping of Alouettes

August 25, 2023 12:04 AM | The Canadian Press

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Brady Oliveira - Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Montreal Alouettes’ Tyrell Richards (42) hits Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Brady Oliveira (20) as he runs with no helmet during first-half CFL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, August 24, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Zach Collaros was glad his Blue Bomber teammates didn’t panic when he wasn’t his usual self early in Thursday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes.

The veteran quarterback repaid them by throwing four touchdown passes in a 47-17 victory that extended Winnipeg’s win streak to five games.

Collaros, who missed the last game with a neck injury, threw three interceptions in the first half.

Two of the picks were returned for touchdowns by Montreal safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy and linebacker Tyrell Richards, who left the field on a cart midway through the fourth quarter with a leg injury.

“The guys rallied around me, the defence was unbelievable, special teams was awesome all night,” said Collaros, who had never before thrown two pick-sixes in a game.

“I thought (the offence) played really well, too, if you take away the three mental mistakes, the errors, by me.”

Receiver Dalton Schoen and running back Brady Oliveira each scored a pair of touchdowns in front of a sellout of 32,343 fans at IG Field.

The victory boosted Winnipeg’s CFL West Division-leading record to 9-2. Montreal had its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 6-4.

Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said Collaros has a special way of bouncing back from bad plays.

“I think Zach has got another level to him, which is not just flushing it,” O’Shea said. “I think he can separate that, but also use a bit of fuel and say, ‘All right, it’s on.’

“Because you see some of the throws he made throughout the game were fantastic.”

Collaros completed 16 of his 26 pass attempts for 240 yards.

Cody Fajardo was back under centre for Montreal after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury. He went 14-of-25 passing for 137 yards and one interception. He also fumbled twice, losing one.


“My legs felt fresh because I missed the last two weeks, so it was good to get back out there with the guys and compete,” Fajardo said. “Obviously, I wish the result was a little bit better and not my best for my first game back, but just going to learn from it.”

Winnipeg also got touchdowns from receiver Kenny Lawler and backup quarterback Dakota Prukop. Sergio Castillo hit field goals from 29 and 28 yards, but missed a 52-yard attempt. He made five of six converts.

Montreal kicker David Cote was good on a 42-yard field goal and two converts.

The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter. Winnipeg led 20-17 at halftime and 37-17 after the third.

On the first snap of the game, Collaros threw an interception to Richards, who ran 40 yards for a touchdown 34 seconds into the contest.

It was a teammate who later collided with Richards. Maas said it didn’t look like his leg got caught but he’ll be assessed.

After Castillo went wide left on a 52-yard field-goal attempt, a Winnipeg drive was boosted by Montreal penalties for unnecessary roughness and a face mask.

The Bombers finished the drive with Collaros’s four-yard TD toss to Schoen with 51 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 7-7.

Collaros threw his second interception to Dequoy with just under five minutes left in the second quarter. The turnover led to a punt.

On Winnipeg’s next series, Dequoy stepped in front of a short Collaros pass and ran 57 yards for the TD with just under three minutes remaining in the half, restoring Montreal’s lead after Schoen’s 22-yard TD catch put the Bombers up 14-10 earlier.

A trio of Montreal turnovers in the third quarter led to 17 Winnipeg points.

“It was just one of those things where you’re in the ball game and then there’s a chance for us to make a play, we don’t,” Montreal head coach Jason Maas said. “You get a couple turnovers and it goes the other way. Then it just kind of steamrolled from there.”

The third-quarter turnovers included Fajardo being intercepted by defensive back Winston Rose, resulting in Prukop’s one-yard TD plunge at 6:45 of the third quarter.

A snap then went off Fajardo’s fingers and the fumble was recovered by Bombers defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. The change of possession led to Castillo’s 29-yarder.

A Montreal turnover on downs was used by the Bombers for a 25-yard Lawler TD catch with two seconds left in the third.

Oliveira caught a six-yard TD catch early in the fourth and Castillo added a 28-yarder with three minutes left.

PADDING HIS LEAD: Oliveira had 18 carries for 119 yards, stretching his league-leading rushing numbers to 158 carries and 902 yards.

OFFENSIVE DROUGHT: The Alouettes had 152 net yards of offence in the first half, but only 21 yards in the second half.


Montreal hosts the B.C. Lions on Sept. 2. Winnipeg heads to Saskatchewan for the annual Labour Day Classic against the Roughriders on Sept. 3.

CP - The Canadian Press