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Blue Bombers hold off Redblacks late to sweep home-and-home series

Blue Bombers hold off Redblacks late to sweep home-and-home series

Blue Bombers hold off Redblacks late to sweep home-and-home series

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers swept their home-and-home series against the Ottawa Redblacks with a 19-12 win Friday night at TD Place in Ottawa.

Zach Collaros connected with Dalton Schoen for a 27-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Bombers a seven-point lead with just under five minutes left to play. Marc Lieggio missed the convert attempt.

With under two minutes to go, Ottawa (0-2-0) managed to get the ball to the Winnipeg 17-yard line but came up empty-handed.

The Blue Bombers beat the visiting Redblacks 19-17 last week in the season opener for both teams.

Collaros finished 15 for 22 on Friday for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Ottawa’s Jeremiah Masoli completed 27 of 38 passes for 331 yards, but it was kicker Lewis Ward who scored all the points for the Redblacks with four field goals in five attempts.

A lack of discipline led to a penalty-riddled first half from both sides. Ottawa took seven penalties for 51 yards, while Winnipeg took six for 55 yards.

Ottawa held a slim 9-7 lead at the half after the Bombers scored a last-minute touchdown. Winnipeg marched down the field and Collaros connected with Greg Ellingson for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds remaining.

The Bombers looked for the two-point convert but were stopped on two occasions. Ottawa took a penalty for illegal contact on the first attempt, putting Winnipeg on the one-yard line before they were stopped a second time.

Winnipeg took a 10-9 lead on a 30-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half.

The Bombers (2-0-0) looked poise to take control of the game, but Greg Ellingson — alone in the end zone — dropped a surefire TD pass forcing Winnipeg to settle for a 22-yard field goal.

Ward hit a 38-yard field goal late in the third quarter to bring Ottawa within a point. He was successful on three of four field goal attempts for the Redblacks.

The 29-year-old had a rare miss on a 37-yard attempt in the first half, but redeemed himself with 37- and 32-yard kicks.

Winnipeg will entertain Hamilton on June 24. Ottawa will have a bye next week before hosting the BC Lions on June 30.

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