For the second time in three weeks, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are represented among the CFL top performers.
Willie Jefferson was the first member of the two-time defending Grey Cup Champs to receive that accolade for his work in a 19-12 win at Ottawa in Week 3.
And for Week 5, a pair of Bombers made it to the podium as quarterback Zach Collaros and receiver Dalton Schoen were both recognized for their efforts in Winnipeg’s impressive 43-22 win over the previously undefeated BC Lions on Saturday.
Collaros, the league’s reigning Most Outstanding Player, completed 23 of 30 passes for 288 yards and threw for three touchdowns as the Blue Bombers offense had a breakout game with a season-high 419 yards. The veteran pivot finished the game with an almost perfect 139.3 quarterback efficiency rating.
Schoen also had a memorable day, hauling in a pair of those majors to go along with six other catches for 117 yards to hit the century mark for the first time in his pro career. The 25-year-old rookie from Overland Park, Missouri now has 21 receptions for 333 yards and three touchdowns to rank 8th, 5th, and T-2nd in the CFL in those respective categories.
Calgary running back and return specialist Peyton Logan joined Collaros and Schoen for Week 5 honours. The 23-year-old, five-foot-eight 189-pound native of Memphis racked up 196 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in the Stampeders 49-6 blowout of Edmonton last Thursday.
The highlights of Logan’s stellar outing included a 122-yard return for a major on a missed Elks field goal attempt, as well as a 21-yard run for a second TD.
Winnipeg (5-0) will host Calgary (4-0) in a clash of the league’s only two undefeated teams, 7:30 p.m. CT Friday night at IG Field.
The Blue Bombers didn’t practice on Tuesday in the leadup to their third game in a dozen-day span, but Collaros was made available to members of the media. He was asked about the incident that took place Friday night in Regina that saw Saskatchewan defensive lineman Garrett Marino ejected, and subsequently suspended for four games for a low hit to the shins of Ottawa quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
“For something as dirty as that to happen and for him (Masoli) to miss games is ridiculous and embarrassing for the league. I’m not happy about it obviously,” Collaros told reporters.
“The punishment, I don’t know. I think it was weird the way it was all broken up. I do think since I’ve been up here nothing as dirty and blatant as that has occurred, but I can think back to quite a few.”
The star Winnipeg quarterback also let it be known how he would feel if the CFL Players Association were to appeal Marino’s suspension.
“When you suspend somebody or you dish out any kind of punishment and your own union comes and defends that person … as the quarterbacks it’s kind of a weird spot for us, especially this season, being asked to lead the charge in the strike,” pointed out the 33 year old from Steubenville, Ohio.
“I’d also think as a partner, the network would say to the league “Hey, I need Jeremiah Masoli on the field. He’s one of the best players in the league, (one of) the most exciting. So I‘d think TSN would say ‘Hey can we get rid of this stuff once and for all?’”While Collaros acknowledged the physicality of football, he said there was no excuse for the hit.
“It’s a violent game. That’s why people love the sport. That’s why I love the sport. All within the rules,” which did not include such a blatantly dirty hit. “I didn’t like any of it. The whole thing. Just embarrassing.”