June 13th, 2024

Quarterback Dru Brown leads Blue Bombers to 36-13 win over Stampeders

By Laurence Heinen, The Canadian Press on October 27, 2023.

CALGARY – Starting quarterback Dru Brown threw a pair of touchdowns to Rasheed Brown and Brendan O’Leary-Orange to lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 36-13 win over the Calgary Stampeders on Friday.

Backup quarterback Dakota Prukop added a one-yard touchdown run with 1:38 remaining in the game to round out the scoring.

Sergio Castillo kicked five field goals for the Blue Bombers (14-4).

Winnipeg had already clinched a bye through the first round of the CFL playoffs and will host either the B.C. Lions (12-6) or the Stampeders (6-12) on Nov. 11 in the Western Final.

Cole Tucker caught his first CFL touchdown pass from Calgary quarterback Jake Maier, while Rene Paredes kicked a pair of field goals for the Stamps.

Having already clinched a playoff berth, the Stamps will travel to Vancouver next weekend to face the Lions in the West Division semifinal.

Needing just two rushing yards to surpass the 1,500-plateau for the season, Winnipeg running back Brady Oliviera accomplished that feat on the first play from scrimmage of the game with an eight-yard run.

Oliviera, Winnipeg’s nominee for both most outstanding Canadian and most outstanding player, only played in the first quarter before reappearing for a couple plays late in the game. He finished with 36 yards rushing on seven carries to give him an impressive and league-leading 2,016 yards from scrimmage for the season.

Castillo accounted for all the points in a snowy first quarter as he kicked a pair of field goals, from 51 and 23 yards out, to give the Bombers a 6-0 lead.

After the snow stopped, Castillo added a 30-yard field goal just 39 seconds into the second quarter to extend Winnipeg’s lead to 9-0.

On Calgary’s next drive, Tucker hauled in a 32-yard catch to get the Stamps into Winnipeg territory, but the drive ended abruptly six plays later when Paredes missed a 45-yard field goal wide to the left.

Parades finally connected on a kick through the uprights at 8:28 of the second quarter to get the Stamps on the board before Castillo booted a 42-yard field goal at 14:02 to put the Bombers up 12-3 at halftime.

On the second last play of the first half, Calgary linebacker Micah Awe recorded his sixth defensive tackle of the game when he brought down Winnipeg running back Johnny Augustine.

That gave Awe 124 defensive tackles for the season to break the team’s single-season record of 123 set by Alex Singleton in 2017 and 2018. He finished the game with 13 defensive tackles to bring up his season total to 131, which is the third-best single-season total in CFL history.

After Paredes kicked a 35-yard field goal for the Stamps early in the third quarter, Prokop drove the Bombers to the 29-yard line in Calgary’s territory before Stampeders linebacker Adarius Taylor forced the Winnipeg QB to fumble the ball and picked it up to end the scoring threat.

Maier then led Calgary to a six-play, 78-yard drive that he capped off by tossing a 21-yard touchdown to Tucker to give the Stampeders a 13-12 lead.

Calgary’s lead was short-lived, though, as Brown responded by tossing a 68-yard touchdown to Rasheed Bailey with 2:49 left in the third quarter before O’Leary-Orange hauled in a 31-yard TD pass from Winnipeg’s starting quarterback 51 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Bombers a 26-13 lead.

Castillo then booted a 40-yard field goal at 5:07 of the fourth quarter before Prukop ran for his one-yard score to cap off a late 12-play, 85-yard drive.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2023.

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