Usually for the military appreciation game; in the blink of an eye the fighter jets soar overhead and are gone! And while the fighter jets were nowhere to be seen before the game, what did occur within a blink of the eye was Montreal going up by 7 points!
On their opening drive, Collaros would throw a pick-6 before all the fans were even in their seats. Winnipeg would end up winning the game in front of a sold out crowd to go 9-2 and take first place in the CFL. (Later that week BC would drop its game 13-30 against Hamilton, putting them at 7-4; and Toronto would win again putting them at 8-1.
It sure did not look good for Bomber fans when they quickly went down by 7. The crowd was stunned and everyone was wondering, “What just happened?” On Collaros’ first play of the game he scrambled, and threw a pick-6. I said that it would take some luck for Montreal to beat Winnipeg, and all indications were that the game was heading that way. As I sat and watched the game, I thought for sure I would be writing about how Montreal did everything I said they would need to do to pull out a win.
Sure enough on Winnipeg’s next drive they would miss the field goal – a rarity for Sergio Castillo! Winnipeg would score a touchdown late in the first quarter to make it 7-7, but the uneasy feeling was still palpable throughout the stadium. Montreal would open the second quarter with a field goal; making the score 10-7. Winnipeg would follow up with a touchdown to make the score 14-10 for Winnipeg.
Yet the uneasy feeling was still hanging around at IG Field. it seems that the fans had correctly discerned the atmosphere as Zach Collaros would throw 2 more interceptions; with another one being a pick-6. The teams would go into half time with Winnipeg leading 20-17 and fans wondering what the second half would look like. To Bomber fans’ delight they would shut out Montreal in the second half and lay a 30 point licking on they to win the game 47-17 (almost another 50 burger).
How in the world did that happen? Like I have said before the Bomber are both good and lucky!
If I told you that Zach Collaros was going to throw 3 interceptions in the first half, would you think that the Bombers would come away with a win? Even if you answered, “Yes,” would you have thought Zach would have put up these numbers?
Those 3 interceptions would result in 97 for Montreal!
An obvious choice would be Zach Collaros. To bounce back after throwing 3 interceptions; 2 of which were pick-6s and put up 30 points in the second half takes a special athlete. It takes and athlete that can use adversity to push them – something Bomber’s Head Coach Mike O’Shea said embodied Zach Collaros (on the CJOB post game show).
Yet another choice would be the Bombers offensive line. It takes a social group to want to continue to provide protection for their quarterback after a lackluster first half. It would have been easy for that group to hang it up and just put in time. In fact, the same can be said for the rest of the team. If you wanted to pick one player that was not the quarterback, all eyes should be on Brady Oliveira. He once again had a huge game rushing 18 times for 119 yards. That is a very healthy average of 6.6 yards per carry!
But I have to give the Game Ball to the Bomber’s defense; in reality you could give the whole team a Game Ball. However, what the Bombers’ defense did was quite remarkable…they shut out Montreal in the second half. One has to wonder if Zach did not throw 2 pick-6s would the score have been 47-3 for Winnipeg?
For stepping up to the plate, for shutting down Montreal in the second half. for making sure a sold out crowd experienced a dominant win, Bombers’ defense you get my Game Ball!
This was a harder award to give out this week. In the early stages of the game it looked like Zach Collaros might win this award; but we saw how that turned out!
It would be tempting to give it to Cody Fajardo as he did not have a great outing going 14/25 for 137 yards and 1 interception. For Montreal fans that game must have been a letdown as I said previous to the game, “We can learn that Montreal has found ways to win. They are now sitting at 6-3 having won 4 in a row.” In that same article I also asked, “This is a big question in my mind! Will we see the Fajardo that early on in his career seemed to torch the Bombers with his legs? Or will we see the Fajardo that has a propensity to hit the uprights and crossbar?”
While he did not do either of those, he simply did not do enough to help his team win. Is that because he is not that good or is it because the Bombers’ defense is really good?
Usually the criteria to “win” the jock is an idiotic/boneheaded play or plays that turns the tide of the game or solidifies the win for the other team in a negative way. However, I did not really see any true qualifiers. I saw a Bombers’ team struggle in the first half and then come out in the second half and exert their dominance on a weaker opponent.
So I will have to call an audible and give the Jock to Shawn Lemon; not that he had a terrible game but his interaction with the fans earned him the award. This is a “what have you done for me lately league,” and when the opposing team’s fans get on you and you decide to flex and mention “Hall of fame career,” if just proves that you did not do much in that game. It even got to the point where Shawn Lemon had to have a member of the Montreal staff come over and tell him to disregard the fans and focus on the game…which only incited the fans to go at him harder.
For caring more about what the fans had to say than caring about on field production; Shawn Lemon you get the Jock?
Watch all the highlights from the game and let me know your sections for the Game Ball & Jock!
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