The B.C. Lions accomplished a rare feat with a dominant 30-6 victory over the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday.
The last time a CFL West Division team beat the Blue Bombers at home was the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sept. 8, 2018.
The Lions remain undefeated to start the season at 3-0 for the second straight year, something the club hasn’t done since 1994-95.
Winnipeg went to 2-1 in front of 25,662 fans at IG Field. The Bombers had put up 87 points in their two earlier wins.
B.C. quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. completed 20 of 29 pass attempts for 241 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros, playing in his 100th career start, was 15-of-26 passing for 194 yards with one interception.
The INT sets up a VA TD strike to Justin McInnis. What a night in Manitoba 💪— BC LIONS (@BCLions) June 23, 2023
🔵💣| 6 pic.twitter.com/lHbaDT03Ck
The Lions got touchdowns on a one-yard plunge from backup quarterback Dominique Davis, a two-yard catch by Alexander Hollins and a 12-yard reception by Justin McInnis.
B.C. kicker Sean Whyte made field goals from 40, 33 and 22 yards and hit his three convert attempts.
Bombers placekicker Sergio Castillo was good on field goals from 37 and 21 yards.
The Lions led 7-3 after the first quarter, 17-6 at halftime and 23-6 after three quarters.
After Castillo got the Bombers on the scoreboard first with a 37-yard field goal at 4:43 of the first quarter, the Lions were helped to their first touchdown by Winnipeg pass-interference penalties.
The bonus yardage led to Davis’s TD at 7:36.
Whyte made it 10-3 with a 40-yard field goal five minutes into the second quarter.
The Bombers looked like they were on their way into the end zone late in the second, but Collaros was sacked on second down at B.C.’s nine-yard line by Lions defensive lineman Sione Teuhema.
Winnipeg lost five yards on the play and settled for Castillo’s 21-yarder with 49 seconds left in the half.
Adams didn’t waste time going back down the field. He connected with Lucky Whitehead for a 29-yard gain and finished the drive with a low two-yard touchdown pass to Hollins with two seconds remaining for the 17-6 lead.
Whyte had the third quarter’s only scoring with field goals from 33 and 22 yards out.
The Lions’ fortunes continued to shine when Collaros was intercepted by linebacker Ben Hladik, leading to McInnis’s score five minutes into the fourth quarter for the 30-6 lead.
DECISION TO PLAY
Winnipeg running back Brady Oliveira (thorax) was a game-time decision and he suited up, rushing 10 times for 52 yards.
The Bombers took nine penalties for 40 yards, compared to B.C.’s five flags for 50 yards.
The Bombers travel to Montreal for a July 1 game against the Alouettes. The Lions take on the Argonauts in Toronto on July 3.
Judy Owen, The Canadian Press