CFL

Bombers knock off defending champ Stampeders to reach Western Final

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers advanced to the CFL's West Division final with a 35-14 win over the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday's semifinal.

Winnipeg cast off Calgary to set sights on Roughriders

Winnipeg's Janarion Grant, centre, runs the ball as Calgary Stampeders' Riley Jones closes in during the Bombers' 35-14 win on Sunday to advance to the West final. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Zach Collaros is going back to where he started his CFL season, but wearing enemy colours.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers employed a one-two quarterback punch of Collaros and Chris Streveler to beat the Calgary Stampeders 35-14 in Sunday's West Division semifinal.

The Bombers head to Regina for next Sunday's West final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The victor there represents the West in the Grey Cup in Calgary on Nov. 24.

A Roughrider to start the season, Collaros was traded twice and arrived in Winnipeg on Oct. 9 via the Toronto Argonauts.

WATCH | Bombers down Stamps to advance to West Final:

Game Wrap: Bombers hammer Stamps to advance to West Final

3 years ago
Duration 1:37
Nic Demski, Darvin Adams and Chris Streveler each scored touchdowns in Winnipeg's 35-14 victory over Calgary.

"Odd? I don't know if it's odd," the 31-year-old pivot said. "It just so happens we're going back to the place I started the year at.

"It is what it is. Things happen. I was fortunate enough a month ago that I was traded there at the deadline to this great organization with these great teammates."

The Blue Bombers (11-7) finished third in the West Division behind the Roughriders (13-5) and Stampeders (12-6).

The Edmonton Eskimos (8-10) crossed over from the West to beat the Montreal Alouettes 37-29 earlier Sunday in the East Division semifinal.

The Esks take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in next Sunday's East final.

Bombers' 27 point run

Trailing 14-8 at halftime, the Bombers scored 27 unanswered points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, in front of an announced 24,278 at chilly McMahon Stadium.

Morning snowfall halted and gave way to partly cloudy skies at kickoff with a temperature of minus-14.

Collaros completed 11 of 21 pass attempts for 193 yards and one touchdown pass in his second straight start as a Bomber.

Streveler had taken over as Bombers' starter when Matt Nichols went down with a shoulder injury in August.

Streveler was sidelined in Winnipeg's regular-season finale with an ankle injury, but he returned Sunday to lead the Bombers in rushing with 82 yards including a 24-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"This guy's a warrior. Toughest guy in the league," Collaros said. "For sure in a game like tonight, it definitely helps. I'm sure it will help moving forward. Just the threat of that.

"Just the [opposing] team having to spend extra time for his abilities and for some of the things we do offensively, it definitely helps."

Nic Demski and Darvin Adams scored touchdowns and Justin Medlock kicked four field goals for Winnipeg.

Reggie Begelton scored two touchdowns for the host Stampeders, who had appeared in three straight Grey Cup games and won last year in Edmonton.

But Calgary will not defend its title on home turf.

Stamps fail to 'execute'

"Sometimes in football it's, 'are you better than the man across from you?" Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. "Tonight we definitely were not.

"The reality is when you don't play well in the playoffs, you're one and done. You're out. Just so happened to be a little earlier this year."

Stampeder quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was without his favourite target — injured receiver Eric Rogers — and struggled completing just 12 of 28 pass attempts for 116 yards.

Two of his three interceptions were in the fourth quarter.

"Didn't execute when we had to," Mitchell said. "Me and the receivers being a little bit off some things route-wise, yardage-wise, distance-wise. Didn't have my stuff today."

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