What was billed as the CFL’s most anticipated game since kick-off in June ended in surprising fashion for some.
Winnipeg dominated most of the game, defeating the BC Lions 43-22 to remain undefeated at 5-0. The Lions drop to 4-1 following the loss.
Bombers’ quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
BC’s Nathan Rourke was picked off twice, but also threw for three touchdowns. The second-year pivot racked up 273 passing yards in a losing effort.
The star of the show, rookie receiver Dalton Schoen hauled in eights catches for a total of 117 yards.
Schoen added a pair of impressive touchdowns from 12 and four yards out respectively.
A gorgeous evening with the roof open at BC Place began with Janarion Grant taking the opening kick-off 97-yards across the goal line.
The play marked his first kick-off return for a touchdown in the CFL. The three-year Bomber has four punt return touchdowns since moving north of the border.
Nathan Rourke and Lions’ offence got off to a shaky start as the impressive rookie was picked off by Jackson Jeffcoat right after BC’s sixth offensive snap.
Jeffcoat’s second CFL interception gave the Bombers an early 14-0 lead.
The game’s first turnover led to a historic touchdown for rookie receiver Dalton Schoen.
Schoen pulled in a 12-yard strike from Collaros for his first CFL touchdown.
Marc Liegghio’s third convert of the game gave Winnipeg a 21-0 lead on the final play of the opening quarter.
Near the end of a relatively quiet second quarter, Rourke fired a 66-yard cannon to Josh Pearson, finally putting the home team on the board.
On the ensuing kickoff Janarion Grant caught the ball at his own 20-yard-line and dashed across BC’s goal line for another six points.
His second TD return of the night got called back because of a holding penalty on Malik Clements. And the penalty would prove to be costly for Winnipeg.
Rourke found Dominique Rhymes for his second receiving touchdown of the season from 36-yards out.
Winnipeg still took a commanding 27-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Leigghio nailed a 46-yard field goal early in the third quarter to put 30 points on the board for Winnipeg.
Rourke and the Lions quickly went three-and-out, handing the ball back to Collaros midway through the quarter.
Dalton Schoen caught a nice 15-yard pass to move the offence in across the ten-yard-line.
He followed that up with his second touchdown grab at the very back of the end zone from four yards out.
Schoen’s second CFL touchdown catch gave the Bombers a 37-14 lead.
The Leos responded in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter as Rhymes became the second receiver to collect a pair of touchdowns in the game.
A 31-yard strike from Rourke to Rhymes plus a successful two-point conversion pulled BC within two scores.
Rourke was promptly picked off by Donald Rutledge Jr. the next time BC touched the football.
On the very next play, Collaros threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ellingson.
Ellingson finished with 98 yards on seven catches along with the final touchdown of the game.
The scoreboard read 43-22 as the teams shook hands at BC Place following the first of three meetings between the two sides this season.
Another battle of undefeated teams awaits next Friday as the Bombers (5-0) play host to the Calgary Stampeders (4-0).
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT.