Running back Brady Oliveira rushed for 130 yards on 20 carries to lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 28-20 win over the B.C. Lions in Sunday afternoon’s Western Conference Finals team.
Oliveira also caught four passes from 37 yards in front of 30,319 fans at IG Field.
The Bombers are now one win away from winning three straight CFL titles for the first time in franchise history. They may win a triple Gray Cup for the first time since 1982 (Edmonton), when they face the Toronto Gold Seekers in Regina next Sunday in a Gray Cup game. The Argos defeated the Montreal Skylarks 34-27 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Winnipeg quarterback Zach Corralos completed 14 of 20 passes for 178 yards, including receiver Dalton Schoen’s 19-yard touchdown pass, which included an interception.
Bombers punt returner Janarion Grant also returned for a 92-yard touchdown, and backup quarterback Dakota Prukop scored on a two-yard TD run.
Winnipeg kicker Mark Ligio kicked field goals of 44, 24 and 16 yards and connected on just one of three conversion attempts.
Final from Winnipeg.
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— BC Lions (@BCLions) November 14, 2022
BC quarterback Nathan Rourke completed 20 of 37 passes for 299 yards, including a 14-yard TD throw to receiver Alexander Hollins with two picks. Backup quarterback Antonio Pipkin also scored on a two-yard run.
Sean Whyte had a 42-yard field goal and kicked two converts. Punter Stefan Flintoft also kicked a 56-yard single. Returner Terry Williams also scored two for a missed conversion return.
The Lions made it 28-20 with less than three minutes left in the game. Rourke completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Hollins. White’s conversion made it 28-20.
Prukop finished with a 2-yard TD run for 75 yards on nine starts that gave Winnipeg a 25-11 lead. However, Lions return Terry Williams converted Liegghio’s missed 126 yards to two scores on a 25-13 run. It was the first time in CFL postseason history that the duo missed a switchback.
The Lions opened the scoring in the second half when White kicked off a 42-yard field goal in their opening game to pull BC to within 19-11.
Liegghio’s 24-yard field goal on sloppy final play of the first half gives Bombers a 19-8 lead over BC
Grant made amends for throwing the ball back early in the second quarter when he returned a Stefan Flintoft punt 92 yards for a touchdown. Liegghio’s switch gave Winnipeg a 16-7 lead. It was the second-longest punt return in Bombers postseason history. Jason Arnstead returned a pitch for 93 yards in 2008.
Liegghio kicked a 44-yard field goal to give the Bombers a 9-7 lead going into the second quarter.
BC took advantage of some big breakthroughs on their first possession. First, the command center overturned the Bombers pick-and-roll punt, claiming that the player who blocked it (linebacker Tanner Cadwallader) should be charged with rough kicking.
Grant then fumbled the ball on a punt return. Lions defensive lineman Mathieu Betts recovered the ball and gave it back to two in Winnipeg’s eight. Pipkin then scored on a two-yard run. White’s switch gave BC a 7-6 lead.
The Bombers took the lead on their first possession. After the opening, their six-game, 74-yard scoring drive was capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Collaros to Schoen. The drive was done by Demski with 40 yards. Legio missed the conversion.
notes: The Lions played without dangerous receiver Lucky Whitehead. … Bombers catcher Rasheed Bailey started after a game-time decision.
Jim Bender, Canadian Press
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