Blue Bombers 29 Stampeders 28
WINNIPEG — Justin Medlock booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to lift the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 29-28 victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Friday.
The win came in newly-acquired quarterback Zach Collaros’s Bombers debut, and kept Winnipeg’s (11-7) hopes alive for a home playoff date.
If the Stamps (11-6) lose next week to B.C., Winnipeg finishes second in the West Division. Saskatchewan (11-5) ends its season with back-to-back games against Edmonton.
Collaros completed 22-of-28 pass attempts for 221 yards with touchdown passes to Kenny Lawler and Darvin Adams. He threw one interception.
Calgary receivers Eric Rogers and Hergy Mayala each caught a pair of touchdown passes from Bo Levi Mitchell
Collaros was playing in his first game since suffering a concussion in a June 13 game when he was Saskatchewan’s pivot.
He was sacked midway through the second, with Calgary linebacker Wynton McManis’s helmet hitting the pivot in the shoulder and facemask as he was sliding. The contact drew loud boos from fans at IG Field, but no penalty.
The Riders traded Collaros to the Toronto Argonauts in late July but he never got into a game. Winnipeg acquired him Oct. 9. The eight-year veteran played Friday after starter Chris Streveler injured an ankle in Calgary’s 37-33 victory last weekend.
Rob Maver added a punt single for Calgary. Kicker Rene Paredes was wide on a 47-yard field-goal attempt, good on one convert and went wide on another convert attempt that Bombers receiver Janarion Grant returned 122 yards for two points.
Nic Demski had a TD run for Winnipeg. Medlock also booted a 29-yard field goal and three converts.
Calgary led 7-0 after the first quarter, 14-10 at halftime and 28-19 after the third.
Mitchell guided the Stampeders on a methodical 12-play, 81-yard opening drive, mixing up runs and passes and finishing with a 22-yard toss on the run to Mayala in the end zone at 6:54.
Collaros completed his first six passes over two series before throwing a pass out of bounds.
Medlock booted his 29-yarder at 1:25 of the second quarter and Maver responded with a 47-yard punt single for an 8-3 Calgary lead.
After Collaros was sacked by McManis, Winnipeg punted. Collaros was back in for the next series, but threw an interception to linebacker Nate Holley. The turnover led to Paredes’ wide field-goal attempt.
Demski scored his TD on a three-yard run at 13:26 of the second, but Calgary replied with Rogers’ two-yard TD catch at 14:59. A two-point convert attempt pass to Reggie Begelton was incomplete.
Medlock got the Bombers off on the right foot to open the second half when his 67-yard punt put Calgary at its own six-yard line. The drive ended in a punt and then penalties, giving Winnipeg the ball at the Stampeders’ 25-yard line.
Collaros used his next throw to find Lawler in the end zone for the TD at 3:52 and a Winnipeg 17-14 lead.
Rogers got his second TD of the game with a 10-yard pass from Mitchell, but Grant took Paredes’ missed convert attempt all the way down the field for two points to squeeze Calgary’s lead 20-19.
A scrambling Mitchell found Mayala in the end zone for an 11-yard scoring strike, followed by Sindani’s two-point convert catch to up the lead 28-19.
Collaros did his own scrambling until he found Adams in the corner of the end zone and the veteran receiver kept both feet in bounds for an eight-yard TD catch. Medlock hit his convert to cut the Stampeders lead to 28-26 at 7:12.
Bombers running back Andrew Harris had a key 15-yard run with under a minute to go to help set up Medlock’s winning kick. He finished with 15 carries for 64 yards.