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Bombers rally for 34-26 OT win over B.C. Lions in CFL West Division clash

Leos led late into fourth quarter in battle for first place
B.C. Lions’ Alexander Hollins, right, makes a diving reception as Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Jamal Parker defends during the first half of a CFL football game, in Vancouver, on Friday, October 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers stormed back to beat the host B.C. Lions 34-26 in overtime on Friday, despite trailing for nearly the entire game.

Zach Collaros went 31-of-41, throwing for 389 yards and two touchdowns for Winnipeg (12-4) in the close CFL contest.

Running back Brady Oliveira punched in the winning touchdown for the Blue Bombers in overtime, with receiver Kenny Lawler adding the two-point conversion.

Winnipeg pulled it within three with just over two minutes left in the game, followed by the Lions turning over the ball on downs less than a minute later to set the Bombers up for a 37-yard drive from their own 53-yard line to set up overtime.

The Lions (11-5) controlled the opening quarter, with backup quarterback Dom Davis scoring a touchdown from one yard out to seal an 11-play, 86-yard drive as B.C. scored on its first three possessions of the game.

Vernon Adams went 19-for-33, throwing for 352 yards and one touchdown for B.C. in the loss.

The Bombers came to life in the second quarter, with Collaros leading a touchdown drive spanning three plays and 60 yards to allow Janarion Grant to score Winnipeg’s first touchdown of the game and bring the game within 10 points.

That pressure continued in the second half as Collaros orchestrated two field goal drives to open the second half and the Lions offence faltered.

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But the comeback was interrupted by Mathieu Betts’s 16th sack of the season to take back the momentum back, followed later by Woody Baron sacking the veteran quarterback with Sione Teuhema recovering the fumble to set up a Lions field goal.

NEXT UP: The Lions will head to Hamilton to take on the Tiger-Cats on Oct. 13. The Bombers will play host to the Edmonton Elks on Oct. 21.

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press