Quick Hits | WPG 30 BC 9

5 Quick Hits from Vancouver and the Bombers win over the Lions Friday night at B.C. Place…

1.  OPENING THOUGHTS: It’s become a recurring plot, as predictable as a Fast and Furious script and as consistent as a sunrise and not a single Winnipeg Blue Bombers faithful anywhere is the least bit bored by it all. The Bombers won their fifth straight game Friday night here on the West Coast with a dominant 30-9 win over the B.C. Lions that was all about what the club does best: owning the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and relying on a stifling defence as its rock-solid foundation.

The win improves the club to 7-1, their best start since posting the same record through eight games in 2011, and keeps them atop the West Division with the best record in the Canadian Football League. The Lions have now dropped two in a row to fall to 4-4.

2.  THE ‘DARK SIDE’ DEFENCE: The Bombers defence, which has been so thorough in delivering beat downs this year – aside from the lone loss in Toronto – kept B.C.’s powerful offence out of the end zone and held them to just 218 net yards in offence. The Bombers registered six sacks in the game – one each from Adam Bighill, Willie Jefferson, Jackson Jeffcoat, Steven Richardson, Casey Sayles and Thiadric Hansen and forced one turnover, with Mike Jones intercepting Nathan O’Rourke late in the fourth quarter.

3. QB NUMBERS: The game had been billed as a duel between the league’s two best pivots so far in ’21, with Reilly and Collaros ranked 1-2 in passing yardage. Both men, not coincidentally, were also being mentioned as CFL Most Outstanding Player candidates. And based on Friday night, Round 1 clearly goes to Collaros.

The veteran QB had his best night as a Bomber, completing 28-of-33 for 417 yards and two TDs – one to Kenny Lawler and the second to Rasheed Bailey. It was his best yardage total as a Bomber, the second-highest in his career (he threw for 439 yards in a game in 2016 as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and the third time he’s eclipsed the 400-yard mark in his career.

The Bombers rolled up a gaudy 508 yards on offence, including 93 along the ground as Kenny Lawler posted career-best numbers with 12 catches for 205 yards.
Reilly, meanwhile, was held to just 177 yards passing on a 17-of-27 effort.

4.  STEP AWAY FROM THE PANIC BUTTON: Ali Mourtada hit a 12-yard field goal in the first quarter for his first in the CFL, added a 29 yarder in the third quarter, and a 23 yarder in the fourth to finish three-for-three. He also hit all three converts helping alleviate – for now, at least – the concerns about the field goal kicking. The Bombers had entered the game going just 1-for-7 in their last seven attempts.

The Bombers also got a boost in the return game with Janarion Grant back in the lineup for the first time since Week 1. Grant finished with 67 yards on seven punt returns and 43 yards on two kickoff returns.