Winnipeg Blue Bombers backups couldn’t keep the streak alive.
With many of their starters at home in Winnipeg, the Bombers’ nine-game winning streak ended with a 28-14 loss to the Montreal Alouettes in their rematch Saturday afternoon at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.
With first place in the West secured, the Bombers opted to rest nine starters, including quarterback Zach Collaros.
The Bombers took an early lead, but quarterback Sean McGuire’s inexperience showed in the first CFL start of his career. Although the rainy conditions certainly didn’t help, McGuire had four costly interceptions and threw just 149 yards when the Bombers lost for the first time since Aug. 21.
Winnipeg falls to 11-2 on the season.
The Bombers hadn’t allowed a point in the fourth quarter in the past five games, but the shutout streak ended with Montreal scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter. It was the first time all season the Bombers delivered a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers rests quarterback Zach Collaros for rematch with Alouettes
It was an ideal start for the Bombers. The Alouettes dropped the ball on the kickoff, giving McGuire great position on the field for his first drive. It only took three plays for running back Brady Oliveira to find his way to the end zone, but Sergio Castillo missed the conversion, giving the Bombers a six-point lead.
But Winnipeg returned the ball later in the first quarter. McGuire was eliminated by Najee Murray in the depths of his own end. The Als converted the interception into a touchdown just a few plays later with Eugene Lewis making a superb catch in the end zone and Montreal took a one-point lead.
The Alouettes would drive across the field in the second quarter. After converting to a third-down bet, quarterback Trevor Harris saw Lewis in the end zone again for his second touchdown of the game to cap off a 15-play drive. Montreal led by seven points at halftime.
McGuire completed just three of his nine pass attempts for 24 yards and an interception in the first half.
After a long punt return from Martese Jackson in the third quarter, the Als scored a field goal to lead by 10.
In the fourth quarter, Bombers returner Shaq Cooper fumbled on a punt return to give the Als great field position, and Reggie White Jr. then scored on an eight-yard touchdown to extend the Als’ lead. Als to 17 points.
The Bombers made it look a little more respectable when Darvin Adams caught a 30-yard TD pass from McGuire.
But McGuire threw three more interceptions in the final seven minutes to sink the Bombers’ chances.
Blue Bombers defeat Alouettes for ninth consecutive win, finish undefeated at home
Replacing Stanley Bryant, offensive lineman Drew Richardson left the game in the first quarter with an injury. Geoff Gray finished the game at left tackle.
In addition to Collaros and Bryant, the Bombers were also break starters Brandon Alexander, Janarion Grant, Jackson Jeffcoat, Pat Neufeld, Deatrick Nichols, Steven Richardson and Nick Taylor. Many of the Bombers starters who did dress were removed from the game in the second half when the club tried to play it safe.
Running back Andrew Harris missed his third straight game with a knee injury.
The Bombers will close their regular season schedule next Saturday in Calgary against the Stampeders with the start scheduled for shortly after 6 p.m.
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