Bombers shut down Elks, move to 7-0 on season

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Rasheed Bailey (88) makes the catch as Edmonton Elks Treston Decoud (37) and Scott Hutter (20) try to stop him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers continue to find new ways to win.

The Bombers perfect season continued Friday night, as they took down the Edmonton Elks 24-10 to move to 7-0 on the season.

It was certainly not an offensive masterpiece by the Blue and Gold, but they were definitely opportunistic.

“We did enough to win. I thought our defence was pretty darn good again,” said Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea after the game.

“They played a lot of snaps, but holding them to 10 points is pretty good. We scored on offence and had a really nice long drive in the fourth when we needed it. Overall, I am very pleased.”

Bombers QB Zach Collaros completed just seven passes and threw two interceptions, but two of those catches were for touchdowns.

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Early in the first, Elks QB Taylor Cornelius pass had his pass deflected by Bombers linebacker Malik Clements and picked off by Deatrick Nichols at the Edmonton 26, giving the Bombers great field position.

On the next play, Collaros found Rasheed Bailey in the endzone for a 26-yard touchdown.

The two kickers would exchange field goals later in the quarter, former Bomber Sergio Castillo making one from 52 yards for the Elks, while Marc Liegghio made a chip shot from 20 yards out and it was 10-3 after one.

Castillo added another field goal early in the second quarter, this one from 44 yards out, to cut the lead to 10-6.

But with just over a minute to play in the half, Collaros found Dalton Schoen who was able to evade the Edmonton defence and take it all the way for an 81-yard touchdown and the Bombers led by 11 at halftime.

“We are confident as a team that when we play our best ball we can win,” Schoen said.

“We have all the faith in the world in all the guys in the locker room, no matter who it is. As an offence, we are confident the defence is going to get the job done and keep them out of the end zone and get the ball back to us.”

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Castillo provided the only points of the third quarter, as he hit a 27-yard field goal, and came up short on a 48-yarder that ended up being a conceded single and the score was cut to 17-10 after three quarters.

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But a fourth-quarter Bombers drive that lasted 9:27 put the game away as backup QB Dru Brown capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run.

The Bombers were without CFL leading receiver Greg Ellingson and defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who missed the game due to injury.

Winnipeg recorded five sacks in the game, all in the first half.

Brady Oliveira had a solid night rushing the football for the Bombers, picking up 62 yards on 13 carries.

Rookie receiver Carlton Agudosi, coming off a monster debut last week, left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury and did not return. He didn’t make a catch Friday night.

The Bombers are back in Alberta for their next game on Saturday, July 30, when they visit the 4-1 Calgary Stampeders. Pregame show begins at 4 p.m. on 680 CJOB with kickoff shortly after 6 p.m.

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