Bombers dominate Elks 30-3, win sixth straight

Andrew Harris ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers extended their win streak to six games with a 30-3 rout of the Edmonton Elks on Friday.

It was the 27th time in his 11-year career that the Winnipeg-born Harris has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. He scored both his TDs in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers boosted their CFL-leading record to 8-1, while the Elks suffered their fourth straight loss and fell to 2-6.

Winnipeg has now won 16 of its past 17 games at IG Field, with 27,388 fans taking in Friday’s game.

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros completed 16 of 27 pass attempts for 207 yards with one 16-yard TD toss to Nic Demski and one interception.

Edmonton QB Trevor Harris, making his first start after missing two games with a neck injury, was 9 of 22 for 87 yards and no picks.

He was replaced by Taylor Cornelius about three minutes into the fourth quarter, who went 6 of 13 for 47 yards and one interception.

Bombers kicker Ali Mourtada had a tough outing. He made 2 of 3 convert attempts, connected on 24-yard field goal but missed three field-goal tries from 41, 47 and 46 yards.

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Edmonton punter Hugh O’Neill conceded three safeties and the Elks also conceded a single.

Sean Whyte scored Edmonton’s only points with a 32-yard field goal.

Winnipeg led 9-0 after the first quarter, 11-3 at halftime and 17-3 after the third.

Both teams’ offences had a shaky start in the first half. Harris didn’t complete a pass until about six minutes into the second quarter.

Winnipeg’s missed opportunities began with the game’s first pass, when defensive back DeAundre Alford dropped a pass Harris inadvertently threw right at him.

The Bombers did get to Edmonton’s one-yard line on their first possession, but backup quarterback Sean McGuire was stuffed on third down.

The Elks couldn’t get out of the deep field position and O’Neill conceded a safety to give Winnipeg a 2-0 lead at 6:57 of the opening quarter.

Aided by a pass interference call on Edmonton, Winnipeg used its next possession to put up a nine-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Demski’s 16-yard TD catch.

The Elks conceded another safety 25 seconds into the second quarter, and Harris was 0-for-6 at that point and Winnipeg ahead 11-0.

The Bombers got down to Edmonton’s nine-yard line, but Collaros’s throw into the end zone was intercepted by defensive back Jordan Hoover, who ran it back 70 yards before getting hauled down.

The turnover led to Whyte’s 32-yarder at 7:24, a drive that included Harris’s first completed pass. He was 1 of 8 at that point.

At halftime, Harris was 5 of 16 for 50 yards. Collaros was 11 of 19 for 139 yards with one TD and one interception.

Both teams lost offensive linemen to injury in the second quarter. SirVincent Rogers was sidelined for Edmonton and Jermarcus Hardrick went out for Winnipeg.

Bombers defensive back Deatrick Nichols blocked an O’Neill punt early in the third quarter and teammate Johnny Augustine recovered.

The big play led to Mourtada’s 24-yard field goal and a 14-3 lead at 4:13.

O’Neill conceded a safety, and then the Elks gave up a single on Mourtada’s missed 46-yard field-goal attempt.

Cornelius’s first drive of the game ended with a turnover on downs, and his last throw of the match was an interception by Alford with 24 seconds remaining.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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