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CALGARY — Leading into the Western Semi-Final at McMahon Stadium, there were questions of whether or not Chris Streveler would even play in the game at all.
He was battling an injury and even missed a day of practice. But when game day rolled around, the 24-year-old was dressed and in the lineup.
“(Mike O’Shea) said the other day, ‘if you have anything left to give, now’s the time to give it.’” Streveler said after the team’s win. “If you can be out there, you’ve got to be out there. That’s the bottom line and that’s just what it comes down to.”
In the first half of the game, Streveler was used in his usual short yardage situations. He had a three-yard rush on second and one early in the first quarter and a seven-yard QB sneak late in the second quarter. But that was all the backup pivot was used for in the first 30 minutes.
Heading into the second half down by six, offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice changed his strategy and Streveler became more involved.
On Winnipeg’s first touchdown drive of the day, Winnipeg had both Collaros and Streveler in on the action at QB. Collaros completed two passes on the drive while Streveler had runs of three, four and seven yards to set up Nic Demski‘s 33-yard score.
And that was the first of many scores for the Bombers in the final two frames of the game. Justin Medlock added two field goals, Collaros tossed a 71-yard touchdown strike to Darvin Adams and Streveler ran in the game-sealing major score late in the fourth quarter.
“I’m not sure how much was different in the second half, it was just execution,” Collaros said after his team’s win on Sunday. “Being able to run the football, being able to stick a guy like him (Chris Streveler) in the game and run the football, Andrew (Harris) running the football. I don’t think I got sacked tonight, our offensive line played amazing. Not just in the run game but in the pass game as well so, it was a complete team game.”
Collaros finished the contest completing 11 of 21 passes for 193 yards and a major score through the air while Streveler tallied 13 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Streveler’s 82 yards was a game-high in rushing yards, even among running backs.
“In a game like tonight, it definitely helps,” Collaros said when asked about using both pivots’ skill sets to win a football game. “We were just talking about it in the locker room, whatever we need to do to win, we’re going to do and we’re all in for that.
“It definitely helped tonight and I’m sure it’ll help moving forward. Just the threat of that, just the team having to spend extra time for his (Streveler) abilities and some of the things that we do offensively, it definitely helps.”
The Bombers now get ready to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Western Final on Nov 17 in Regina.