July 24th, 2024

Bombers blitz Elks 45-25, set player milestones

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press on October 21, 2023.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Brady Oliveira (20) runs for the first down against the Edmonton Elks during first half CFL action in Winnipeg, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – Brady Oliveira ran for two touchdowns and 72 yards to move into second place on the CFL all-time list for rushing yards by a Canadian in the Blue Bombers’ 45-25 victory over the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

Oliveira leads the league with 1,498 yards through 17 games. Jon Cornish holds the record with 1,813 yards in 2013 with the Calgary Stampeders.

Winnipeg (13-4) had already clinched first place in the West Division when the B.C. Lions lost to the Stampeders on Friday. The Blue Bombers finish the regular season next Friday in Calgary.

The Elks (4-14) ended their season with a fourth straight loss and have missed the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

Oliveira recorded his eighth and ninth rushing TDs of the season off a pair of three-yard runs in front of Winnipeg’s fourth consecutive sellout of 32,343 fans at IG Field.

Winnipeg receiver Rasheed Bailey had two TD catches of six and 10 yards and Greg McCrae caught a 10-yard TD pass. Linebacker Adam Bighill ran a fumble recovery 27 yards into the end zone to register the second TD of his career.

Bombers kicker Sergio Castillo made one field goal from 24 yards and was good on six converts.

Edmonton receiver Deontez Alexander ran a Winnipeg kickoff 98 yards for a major. Elks backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius tallied two one-yard TDs. Kicker Dean Faithfull connected on a 43-yard field goal and three converts. Jake Julien added a punt single.

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros played three quarters before being replaced by Dru Brown. Collaros completed 13 of 16 pass attempts for 125 yards with one TD.

Elks quarterback Tre Ford was 12-of-22 passing for 288 yards passing. Receiver Eugene Lewis made seven catches for 158 yards.

The Bombers led 14-10 after the first quarter, 24-17 at halftime and 31-18 heading into the fourth.

Winnipeg scored on its first possession, and on Edmonton’s first drive.

Two Elks’ penalties helped lead to Oliveira’s first TD at 4:11.

On Edmonton’s first series, Bombers defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat forced Ford to fumble and the ball was picked up by Bighill and taken into the end zone for his second career major. His first one was in 2018 with Winnipeg.

A 77-yard catch-and-run by receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux helped set up Cornelius’s one-yard TD plunge at 11:10. Faithfull booted his 43-yarder as time expired to squeeze the score 14-10.

Arceneaux now has at least one reception in 146 consecutive games, dating back to July 4, 2010.

Castillo’s field goal at 7:06 and Oliveira’s second TD with 2:02 remaining in the first half gave the Bombers a 24-10 lead.

A successful Edmonton coach’s challenge for defensive pass interference gave the Elks the ball at the one-yard line. Cornelieus ran into the end zone with 17 seconds left.

Julien’s punt single and Bailey’s six-yard TD catch was the only scoring of the third quarter.

Alexander scored his kickoff return at 1:36 of the fourth, just after McCrae caught a TD pass from Brown. Bailey scored five minutes later to make it 45-25.

MONEY MEDLOCK

Kicker Justin Medlock was honoured at halftime for his induction into Winnipeg’s hall of fame this week.

Nicknamed “Money Medlock,” the California product played four of his nine CFL seasons with the Bombers (2016-19). He made 195 of his 228 field-goal attempts for Winnipeg, with the 85.5 per cent the highest in club history, and also punted.

Medlock set a CFL record for his 60 field goals in 2016 and was named the league’s most outstanding special teams player. One of those field goals was from 58 yards, tying him for Winnipeg’s longest field goal with Bernie Ruoff (1975).

Medlock also played for Toronto, Edmonton and Hamilton before joining the Bombers until his retirement after the 2019 season.

CANADIAN HISTORY

Nic Demski had five catches for 27 yards, giving him 1,006 yards in 17 games. His first career 1,000-yard season helped Winnipeg make CFL history as the only club to have two Canadians reach both the 1,000-yard receiving and rushing marks in the same year teamed up with Oliveira.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2023.

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