Fans at IG Field got their first look at the 2022 Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday night as the CFL pre-season schedule got underway.
The Bombers fell 30-20 to the Edmonton Elks in front of 20,518 fans.
Winnipeg QB Zach Collaros didn’t start, so the battle for the backup position took centre stage.
Dru Brown threw for 108 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for another major, while Dakota Prukop threw for 81 yards and tossed two interceptions, but rushed for a touchdown.
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The Elks opened the scoring on their first drive of the game when Nick Arbuckle tossed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Holley.
Edmonton added a 44-yard field goal from Gregory Hutchins later in the quarter, but the Bombers would get on the board before the opening frame was done as Brown found Dalton Schoen for a five-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 10-7.
The two teams traded rushing touchdowns from their quarterbacks in the second quarter as Taylor Cornelius of the Elks scored on a 1-yard sneak, while the Bombers responded with an 8-yard run into the endzone from Prukop and cut the lead to 17-14 at the half.
After the Elks turned the ball over with an early-third quarter fumble, the Bombers took the lead for the first time in the game, as Brown scored from two yards out to make it 24-20.
But Edmonton wasted no time in taking back the lead, as Arbuckle found Ka’Ron Ashley for a three-yard touchdown to put the Elks ahead for good.
Hutchins booted two field goals in the fourth quarter to give the Elks the double-digit win.
Johnny Augustine led the Bombers in rushing with 54 yards on just six carries while Nic Demski had 80 yards receiving on four catches.
The Elks managed 455 yards of offence, while the Bombers were held to 292 yards and recorded three turnovers.
It’s a quick turnaround for Winnipeg who will visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday for their final game of the pre-season. Pregame show begins at 5:30 p.m. on 680 CJOB with kickoff just after 7:30 p.m.