June 13, 2024

Brown takes down old team as REDBLACKS defeat Bombers

James Paddle-Grant/CFL.ca

OTTAWA – Dru Brown came out victorious in his first time facing off against his old team, as the Ottawa REDBLACKS handed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a second loss this season on Thursday at TD Place Stadium with a 23-19 win in their home opener.

Brown faced off against the man he once backed up, quarterback Zach Collaros, as Brown completed 20 of 33 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown for the REDBLACKS. Collaros threw for 285 yards completing 15-of-31 passes, throwing tw0 interceptions.

REDBLACKS wideout Justin Hardy had 111 receiving yards on seven receptions, tallying a touchdown, while running back Ryquell Armstead added 95 yards on the ground. Lewis Ward was perfect going 3-for-3 on field goals for Ottawa.

Alonzo Addae and Adarius Pickett both recorded an interception for Ottawa, with Addae tallying a team-leading four tackles.

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One of the most reliable legs in the league in Lewis Ward got Ottawa on the board with a 12-yard kick to open the scoring, before a 49-yard punt return for the REDBLACKS from DeVonte Dedmon followed by an unnecessary roughness call moved Ottawa 13 yards to Winnipeg’s 14-yard line.

Armstead pushed for 12 yards on three plays to set up a first-and-goal, as quarterback Dustin Crum rushed up the middle for a one-yard gain and a touchdown as Ottawa led 10-0 in the first quarter.

Pickett picked off Collaros early in the second quarter, before Bralon Addison broke off for a 19-yard rush which helped to set up a 31-yard field goal for Ward, with the REDBLACKS leading comfortably 13-0.

The Bombers finally got on the board halfway through the second quarter, as Sergio Castillo knocked a 45-yard kick through the uprights to cut the REDBLACKS lead, swinging some momentum Winnipeg’s way.

Forcing Ottawa to punt on the next drive, the Bombers continued to roll as Collaros found one of his favourite targets in Nic Demski for a 47-yard gain, before Johnny Augustine added another 17-yard reception.

Augustine found the end zone on a four-yard run for Winnipeg, after a sack from Ottawa resulted in a face mask penalty, and the Bombers cut the REDBLACKS lead to just three points.

Despite a good push, the REDBLACKS settled for a field goal before the half, with a 34-yard field goal from Ward extending the lead back to six for Ottawa.

Keric Wheatfall, in his first game in the CFL, caught a 76-yard reception to set up first-and-goal on the Ottawa five-yard line, with quarterback Chris Streveler going for it on third down running in the two-yard touchdown to give the Bombers their first lead of the night.

 

In the fourth quarter, a 42-yard gain from Hardy put the REDBLACKS in the Bombers’ red zone, and it was Hardy again who grabbed the two-yard reception to give the REDBLACKS back the lead with just over seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

With 2:09 left on the clock, players headed into the locker room due to inclement weather, with the Bombers in position on first down on the Ottawa 42-yard line.

After the hour delay, the two teams took the field to resume at 11:15 p.m. ET, and after first finding Dalton Schoen for 12 yards, Collaros connected with a wide open Drew Wolitarsky for 23 yards to take the Bombers inside Ottawa’s seven-yard line.

Damon Webb broke up a pass from Collaros to force a third down, and the REDBLACKS forced a turnover on downs as Lorenzo Mauldin IV sacked Collaros to take over with 50 seconds to go.

The REDBLACKS gave up a safety to force the Bombers to try and get a touchdown with 15 seconds to play, but held Winnipeg off to start their season 1-0.

In Week 3, the REDBLACKS head to Percival Molson Memorial Stadium to take on the Montreal Alouettes who are hosting their home opener on Thursday, June 20, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Bombers will head home to host the BC Lions on Friday, June 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Princess Auto Stadium.

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