WINNIPEG – After heading to the locker with a lead at the half, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers survived a surge of Toronto momentum to win.
Building off their success last week, Zach Collaros and the Blue Bombers offence looked to be in mid-season form. Winnipeg opened the night’s scoring after Collaros connected with Rasheed Bailey mid-way through the first quarter for a 35-yard touchdown. After the Bombers drew first blood, Toronto tried to claw back during the third, but time would expire as the Bombers would go on to win 20-7.
Through the air, Collaros and the Bombers offence made it look easy. Completing his second-straight game with over 200 passing yards, Collaros appeared to gain confidence as the game progressed. For Toronto, it was a different story.
After a lackluster first half that saw the Argos go to the dressing room with only 70 passing yards, an interception forced by Jamal Peters to start the second half looked to be the boost they needed.
On the ensuing Argos possession, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would overthrow DaVaris Daniels and force the Argos to punt. That would be the end of the night for the starting signal-caller as Ryan Dinwiddie would trot out Nick Arbuckle, in hopes a different presence could fuel a comeback.
During his first drive that started around mid-field, Arbuckle’s precision passing going 4/4 for 30 yards gave Toronto a new sense of confidence on offence. After marching their way down to the 30-yard line, John White would rumble his way into the end zone to get the Double Blue on the board.
While this sudden surge of momentum certainly provided the Argos sideline with some much-needed juice, it was short-lived. After collecting a hand-off from Arbuckle, Bombers linebacker Jesse Briggs knocked the ball out of White’s hands, giving Winnipeg the ball.
On the following Winnipeg possession, Collaros would make Toronto pay as he found Nic Demski in the end zone to cushion their lead late in the game.
With their backs on the walls and time their enemy, Arbuckle would throw a costly interception giving Winnipeg the ball on the Argo 30-yard line.
After failing to find the end zone for the third time, the Bombers would send one through the uprights off the foot of Tyler Crapinga, releasing the remaining air out of the Boatmen’s sails.
To add insult to injury, the final moments of the fourth quarter did not get any better for Toronto as Willie Jefferson was able to strip the ball from Arbuckle’s hands, ending their chance to find the end zone.
Similar to last week’s outing against the Calgary Stampeders, penalties were the Achilles heels of the Toronto Argonauts. Recording 13 for a total of 112 yards, their inability to string along drives and keep the momentum on their side was costly at times as Winnipeg was able to capitalize. Their eagerness to get into the Winnipeg backfield was taken advantage of, but they were able to do it. The Toronto pass rush took the Collaros down twice and in the process was able to hold Brady Oliveria, who was coming off a 126 yard game against Hamilton, to only 29 on the night.
As for Winnipeg’s defensive performance, they were able to hold Toronto to a combined 289 yards on offence and a single touchdown.
Both of these two teams will meet again in just over a week’s time as Week 3 will see them at BMO Field for the Argonauts home opener.