The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have clinched a playoff berth following their convincing and dominant 51-6 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Saturday’s Banjo Bowl game that spotlighted a near perfect performance for Winnipeg.
Winnipeg is now 12-7 since the Banjo Bowl rematch began in 2004.
“It’s going to be hard to find any fault in this game,” Blue Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea said. “It’s as clean a game as you would hope for. You’d like to be able to duplicate those.”
Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros threw five touchdown passes in the first half, including three to Dalton Schoen to feature a potent passing attack that complimented running back Brady Oliveira who rushed for 154 yards on 18 carries and also caught a 17-yard TD pass. Collaros completed 16 of 17 pass attempts for 285 yards during the first half, and finished the game 18-of-21 for 319 yards with the five scores and no interceptions.
The performance pushed Oliveira over the 1,00 yard mark on the season.
“I felt like we had a good week of practice,” Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson said. “I did not anticipate us getting beat like we got beat today.
“And (the Bombers) executed outstanding. They only punted one time and it was at the end of the game. The difference was they just got rolling and we couldn’t find a way to stop them and we weren’t able to match the momentum when we got the football.”
“It is a rivalry,” Collaros said. “It’s just what you’re supposed to do for the Banjo Bowl. We’re supposed to win that game. Our fans are unbelievable.”
“I wanted to take my game to that next level, and that next level is starting to break the long runs, show that I can make people miss, get those 30-, 40-yarders,” Oliveira said following the game.
“I owe it to my teammates, though. Receivers did an incredible job of blocking on the perimeters allowing me to get those long runs. And the offensive line just kept dogging them all night. It was a fun game to be a part of.”