July 9, 2022

Game Recap | WPG 43 BC 22

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Dalton Schoen, left, Brendan OÕLeary-Orange, right, and Brady Oliveira, back, celebrate Schoen's touchdown against the B.C. Lions during the first half of CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday, July 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – So, how about we check in with a quick status report on your Winnipeg Blue Bombers through five games…

Just for the record, they are atill unbeaten, still the two-time defending Grey Cup champs, still backed by the ‘Dark Side’ defence and still quarterbacked by the reigning Most Outstanding Player.

Any questions now?

Playing their second road game in five days after Monday’s victory in Toronto, the Blue Bombers delivered a statement performance in Saturday’s dominant 43-22 victory over the B.C. Lions which flashed their championship pedigree from the opening kickoff to the final gun.

As a result, the club improves to 5-0, while the Lions drop to 3-1.

And it’s worth noting here this came at the end of a week in which the team was called flawed and lucky to win in Toronto and without four starters in Brandon Alexander, Michael Couture, Nic Demski and Kyrie Wilson.

“We’re 5-0,” said defensive end Willie Jefferson. “That was just us coming out playing Winnipeg football, all three phases – offence, defence, special teams from the beginning of the game to the end of the game.”

Asked about the outside noise after the ‘W’, head coach Mike O’Shea was to the point:

“We’re not listening whether you guys think we’re bad and we’re certainly not listening when you think we’re good,” he said. “Our guys know exactly who we are.”

Facing a 3-0 Lions team that was also getting a ton of attention through the play of Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke – who threw for three scores but was intercepted twice – the Blue Bombers got an opening kickoff return TD by Janarion Grant, forced four turnovers, saw Dalton Schoen score twice, had their ground game come alive AND got an absolutely sensational performance by Zach Collaros.

The CFL’s MOP finished 23-of-30 for 288 yards with the two TD strikes to Schoen and a third to Greg Ellingson as the offence – called ‘vanilla’ by former Bomber Marcus Sayles in an interview Friday with Ted Wyman of The Sun and Taylor Allen of The Free Press – racked up 419, including 141 along the ground.

“People can say whatever they want to say,” said Collaros. “We know what we’ve got, we know what we do and we know what we’ve got in that locker room. We believe in each other and we don’t need any other motivation except for the guy sitting next to you.”

Jefferson, meanwhile, was asked what he would call the offence today:

“Chocolate sundae. Whatever you want to call it. We had some sprinkles on there, a little whipped cream… cherry on top. It just wasn’t vanilla I can tell you that.

“Our leaders on the offensive side of the ball take that stuff to heart. We are champions. We want teams to respect us as such. I understand in our first couple of weeks we weren’t putting up a lot of points, but we were winning games and our offence was doing just enough. That’s all we need.”


The Bombers had rocketed out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead when the Lions began to roar back, cutting into the lead and narrowing the margin to 27-14 at halftime.

Winnipeg then put the hammer down in the third quarter, out-scoring the Lions 10-0 in the frame on a Marc Liegghio 46-yard field goal and a four-yard Collaros-to-Schoen TD.


The Blue Bombers had been averaging 21.8 points through the first four weeks and 18.8 offensively. Saturday’s 43 points was the most since the club blanked B.C. 45-0 last October 23rd in Winnipeg. In their last three games against the Lions the Blue Bombers have out-scored B.C. 118-31.


Offence: Zach Collaros, QB: Served up a reminder to everyone across the league about who the reigning CFL MOP and all-star QB is with a vintage performance.

Defence: Willie Jefferson, DE: Two tackles, one sack, two passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage in one of those outings that can give QBs and offensive coordinators nightmares.

Special teams: Janarion Grant, KR: Started the game with a bang, taking the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown 14 seconds into the afternoon. He also had another called back because of a holding penalty.

It was Grant’s first kickoff TD return in his CFL career and his fifth kick-return score in 22 games.


  • A number and a legend that keeps on growing – the Blue Bombers are remarkable 22-2 in games Zach Collaros has started, including playoffs and two Grey Cup victories.


  • LB Adam Bighill added two tackles to his career total and now needs just four more to pass former Blue Bombers LB Greg Battle and move into eighth place on the CFL’s all-time list. Bighill is at 763, Battle retired with 766 career tackles.
  • Greg Ellingson’s consecutive games with at least one reception now stands at 75. He finished the night with seven catches for 98 yards and in the process moved into 40th spot on the CFL’s all-time list with 8,318 yards


  • Schoen finished the night with eight catches for 117 yards and two TDs, including this one:

  • Jackson Jeffcoat’s first-quarter interception was the second of his career and first since the third game of his rookie season in 2017.
  • Liegghio entered the game a perfect 10-for-10 and hit on his first three tries before missing a convert and two field goals on his last three kicks.
  • SB Brendan O’Leary-Orange injured in the first half and did not finish the game.
  • The Blue Bombers have won their last three visits to Vancouver and is on a five-game win streak against the Lions.


The Blue Bombers are in the most-gruelling portion of their 2022 schedule, a stretch that will see them play five of six tames on the road. The one respite comes next, with the Stampeders at IG Field on Friday night, followed then by trips to Edmonton to face the Elks, a stop in Cowtown and then a visit to Montreal to play the Alouettes.