BOMBERS DOMINATE ALL PHASES, CRUSH ALOUETTES 56-10
Any questions surrounding rookie quarterback Chris Streveler‘s ability to lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were answered on Friday night, as the 23-year-old pivot threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a dominant 56-10 win over the Montreal Alouettes.
Streveler’s gaudy half-time numbers told one part of Friday’s contest: 18 completions on 22 attempts, 196 pass yards, two touchdowns. With 55 rush yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The other story of Friday’s one-sided game at Percival Molson Stadium?
Tristan Okpalaugo with two of Winnipeg’s three first-half sacks, as part of a larger effort by the Bomber defence to limit Montreal to just 95 yards of offence in the first half.
In other words: At 34-7 after 30 minutes of football, the front end of Friday Night Football’s doubleheader was decided.
The Bombers opened the scoring on the first drive of the evening, as a Streveler-led drive set up a 13-yard Justin Medlock chip-shot field goal.
Okpalaugo and the Winnipeg defence then set the tone on Montreal’s first offensive snap of the ballgame, as the 28-year-old brought down Als quarterback Drew Willy for a loss of eight yards.
Paul LaPolice’s Bomber offence then mixed it up on its next possession, with Streveler lateraling across to Darvin Adams to set up a flea-flicker pass to Andrew Harris in the end zone. Medlock’s convert gave Winnipeg a 10-0 lead.
The Bomber defence then got to Willy again, as Drake Nevis levelled the Montreal pivot with a crunching sack.
Montreal showed some life early in the second quarter, as a powerful 44-yard Tyrell Sutton run set up a Willy-to-B.J. Cunningham touchdown connection. Boris Bede‘s convert cut the hosts’ deficit to just three points.
Winnipeg’s offence roared in response, with a number of Streveler completions setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nic Demski; Medlock’s convert gave the Bombers a 17-7 lead.
Things began to unravel for the Alouettes later in the second quarter; the strong field position earned by a Stefan Logan kick return was negated by a monster sack from Okpalaugo — his second of the night — on Willy.
After that two-and-out, Streveler marched the Bombers back inside the red zone and proceeded to find his former college roommate Drew Wolitarsky in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. Medlock’s convert extended the Bombers’ lead to 17 points.
The second quarter went from bad to worse for the Alouettes on the ensuing drive.
A Willy pass was intercepted by Okpalaugo, only to be brought back on an offside penalty against the latter; Winnipeg defensive back Anthony Gaitor then sacked Willy heavily on the next play for a loss of 12 yards; Boris Bede’s subsequent third-down punt was blocked by Rashaun Simonise and recovered by the Bombers inside Montreal’s 5-yard line.
Two plays later, Streveler punched it in from the goal line himself; the following Medlock convert and a final-play field goal from 40 yards out sent Winnipeg to the locker room with a 34-7 lead.
Medlock and Bede traded third-quarter field goals, and a further Medlock boot from 33 yards out pushed the lead to 40-10.
Two second-half hits from the Alouettes — Jermaine Robinson‘s low tackle on Harris, and then Henoc Muamba with a high tackle on Streveler — resulted in tempers flaring, and when Streveler found Wolitarsky in the fourth quarter for the duo’s second touchdown of the night, emotions ran high. Medlock’s convert made it a 47-10 ballgame.
Montreal’s offence continued to struggle, and Bede conceded a safety.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, continued to show off its quarterback depth; Bryan Bennett relieved Streveler — who started in place of injured regular Matt Nichols — in fashion with three completions for 71 yards and an electrifying 31-yard run.
Bennett’s debut drive culminated in Kienan LaFrance’s first rush touchdown as a Bomber; Medlock’s convert rounded out the scoring on the night and brought the score to 56-10.
Chris Streveler’s final line read 22 of 28 passes completed for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
Montreal linebacker Henoc Muamba registered a game-high 11 tackles in the defeat; nine different players hauled in a catch for Winnipeg.
With the win, the Bombers improved to 1-1 on the young season and now face a Week-3 trip to Tim Horton’s Field to face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday Night Football (7 p.m. ET).
The loss dropped the Alouettes to 0-2 on the campaign; Mike Sherman’s team will head west in Week 3 for a date with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday evening (9 p.m. ET).