Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Colaros throws 4 TDs as the Blue Bombers dominate the Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl. CBC Sports

It was more than a one-off score that made Zach Colaros proud on Saturday’s offense from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The way he did it.

The Bombers quarterback threw for four touchdowns as the two-time defending Gray Cup champions scored on their first eight possessions in a crushing 54-20 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders squad battling a bad stomach virus.

“I think it’s special,” said Colaros of six touchdowns and two field goals scored in the race for possessions.

“It was really efficient. We were really good down first and we had a handful of second.”

The Bombers (12–1) actually finished the CFL competition scoring nine out of 10 drives in front of a sold out crowd of 33,234 fans at IG Field in Winnipeg for the 18th edition of the Banjo Bowl.

Collaros completed 21-in-25 pass attempts for 273 yards and made no interception. With nine minutes left in the final quarter, he was replaced by Drew Brown.

With three minutes remaining in the game from Winnipeg kicker Mark Leghio, Brown threw his first CFL touchdown pass, throwing Dalton Schoen 11-yards with 42 seconds into the game.

look | Bomber Demsky catches TD pair in victory over Riders:

The Bombers claim the Banjo Bowl on the Roughriders

Winnipeg’s Nick Demsky caught two touchdowns as the Blue Bombers beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 54–20 to win the annual Banjo Bowl title.

Winnipeg secured a three-game CFL season series with Saskatchewan (6-7) after beating the Riders 20-18 in last weekend’s Labor Day Classic. The third game is in Winnipeg on September 30.

Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo said it was a tough game before the team took the field.

“It started with walking into the locker room and it looked like a triage in there,” Fajardo said. “People were sick, throwing up, coming out from both ends, it was so ridiculous.

“I have a lot of heart for those guys. Our entire offensive line was sick and they went out. We were giving them IVs to get them on the field. We had nothing else to do.”

Fajardo, who said he only felt weak and didn’t vomit, was 15-in-18, passing 124 yards with no TD and no picks. He was replaced by Jake Dolegala late in the fourth.

Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson estimated that 15 players and seven or eight coaches were sick with some sort of virus that was not related to COVID-19. He was one of them.

Dickenson said he went to a Mexican restaurant in Winnipeg on Friday night and had a burrito. He had an upset stomach in the hotel after the night. He threw up five times and knew it was more than food poisoning.

“It was a bad one. I was probably as sick as I had been for about 12 hours,” he said.

When he spoke to the trainer of the team, he was told that there are too many players in the same boat. This meant that the roster was dodged.

Dickenson said that backup quarterback Mason Fine could not wear clothes so Dolegla, third stringer, was blown up. Some players dressed but did not play, including receiver Kian Schaefer-Baker. Offensive lineman Josiah St. John could not finish the game.

“That group got it out there,” Dickenson said. “We’re not happy with the score and we think we’re a better team than him, but he was a bad group there. Half of those who were playing were sick.

“You’re going to need your best team and healthy players to be with Winnipeg, far from beating them in their place. But I’m proud of them. They ended it, with some real tough stuff they’re the best.” did what they could under the circumstances.”

Winnipeg led 6-0 after the first quarter, 27-10 at halftime and 37-20 after the third.

Bombers receiver Nick Demsky caught TD passes for 16 and 18 yards. Rashid Bailey took part in a 34-yard TD reception and Brendan O’Leary-Orange recorded his first CFL TD with a 10-yard catch. Backup Bombers quarterback Dakota Prukop ran for two TDs from three and a yard.

Leghio scored field goals from 45 and 23 yards, and made six of his seven convert attempts.

Saskatchewan receiver Mario Alford recorded a 92-yard kickoff return for a TD and Fajardo pushed for a one-yard TD. Kicker Brett Lowther linked to field goals from 53 and 34 yards, and two converts.

Demsky said he had no idea some Roughriders were sick.

“I talked to some people I knew after the game and they told me,” he said. “Hopefully they all get better and congratulations on coming out and playing a tough game.”

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