September 29, 2023

‘Better second half’ propels Bombers to win over Argos

Jason Halstead/

WINNIPEG – Brady Oliveira said it himself – it didn’t matter what combination of lineups the Toronto Argonauts were bringing to IG Field on Friday, they’re a good football team.

But the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a good football team themselves, and despite being down early to the Argos on home turf, their big second half helped them secure a win in a rematch of the 109th Grey Cup.

Oliveira had 25 carries for 169 yards and a receiving touchdown in the game, but both him, quarterback Zach Collaros, and the rest of the Bombers knew the game was never going to be an easy feat.

» Depth Charts: WPG | TOR
» Box Score: Bombers, Argos by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Argos at Bombers
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“We got the win, that’s what we try to do every single week, come out here, go 1-0, execute, and play our style of football, I think we had a better second half,” Oliveira told TSN’s John Liu after the win.

“We came out here, executed, definitely played physical for I think the entire game, and that was the difference maker today.”

The defending Grey Cup champions, who beat the Bombers by one point in last year’s final, started off strong as they scored 14 first-quarter points while in enemy territory.

But despite trailing early, the Bombers fought until the end, utilizing Oliveira’s strong ground game, Collaros’ connection with receivers like Dalton Schoen, and playing physically defensively to stay in the game.

“I know I can do so much better, I know when I’m on I can do so much for this football team, so I used that fumble in the first half as motivation and hunger to go out there and do better and be better and try and help this team win football games,” said Oliveira.

Holding the Argos to just three points, the Bombers erupted for 15 points in the final quarter of action to secure victory in their first meeting with the Argos in 2023.

With Oliveira leading the charge on the ground on nearly every drive, fighting for first downs even while down a score to a Toronto team without starters like Chad Kelly, the Bombers trusted the process that resulted in a win.

“He’s a tough guy, he takes care of himself, he’s got a big heart as you know, he plays for his hometown and he plays for his teammates,” said Collaros.

“I know he has a greta relationship with our offensive line and they set the tone every week, and it’s just a privilege to play with those guys.

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