Skip to main content

Adams, Hollins lead Lions to 26-24 win as Blue Bombers remain winless

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) gets the throw away as BC Lions' Joshua Archibald (94) wraps him up during first half CFL action in Winnipeg, Friday, June 21, 2024. (John Woods / The Canadian Press) Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) gets the throw away as BC Lions' Joshua Archibald (94) wraps him up during first half CFL action in Winnipeg, Friday, June 21, 2024. (John Woods / The Canadian Press)

Alexander Hollins had a feeling during warmups that he could rack up 200 yards receiving on Friday.

The B.C. Lions wideout went a few yards better, hauling in seven catches for 215 yards in a 26-24 victory that kept the Winnipeg Blue Bombers winless this season.

“Funny thing, I actually told (offensive co-ordinator Jordan Maksymic) that it’s going to be a night for 200 tonight,” Hollins said. “So it really happened.”

What sparked that feeling?

“I always have a good feeling about it, but I had a great feeling about this game plan,” Hollins said. “Just looking at what they were doing on film and stuff, I knew it was probably going to be a good night for one of us.”

Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. connected with Hollins on a 71-yard catch-and-run score and a 29-yard TD reception to help bump B.C.’s record to 2-1 in front of 31,210 unhappy Bombers fans at Princess Auto Stadium.

“Dude was open, man,” Adams said of Hollins. “He did what he did. The bat signal was out and the Batman delivered.”

Adams completed 21 of 33 pass attempts for 398 yards with the two TDs and no interceptions.

“It’s a character win,” Adams said. “We went through adversity, and that’s a good team. The records don’t say anything. That’s a great organization.”

Winnipeg (0-3) has lost its first three games of the season for the first time since 2012.

“It’s hard to wrap your head around it,” Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros said. “So it is what it is. We haven’t played good enough to win games.

“There’s a fine line and it usually comes down to a handful of things that happen in the game and we just have to be better.”

Collaros was 23-of-30 passing for 247 yards with no picks. He has yet to throw a TD pass this season.

B.C. had a 20-7 lead early in the third quarter, but Winnipeg turned the game into a see-saw battle.

Backup Bombers quarterback Chris Streveler scored his third one-yard touchdown 2:10 into the fourth quarter to give Winnipeg the 21-20 lead after Sergio Castillo’s convert.

Winnipeg running back Brady Oliveira did the heavy lifting in the drive, carrying the ball for 28 and six yards to get to the one-yard line.

Oliveira, who missed the last game with a knee injury, started the match as the backup to Johnny Augustine, but the star tailback regained his main role late in the second quarter. Oliveira finished with nine carries for 64 yards.

The teams exchanged field goals and Winnipeg went ahead 24-23 with 5:25 remaining, but Lions kicker Sean Whyte hit a 42-yard field goal with 2:37 to regain the lead.

With 1:54 remaining, Adams marched the visitors down to Winnipeg’s one-yard line and then took the knee to run out the clock.

It may have been the best game the Bombers have played this season, but head coach Mike O’Shea wasn’t viewing that as a big positive.

“We’re looking for silver linings? This is pro sport,” O’Shea said. “But in real tight losses, there’s always some good things.

“We had an opportunity at the very end to make a good difference. Just didn’t work out for us today.”

B.C. also got points off Whyte’s field goals from 12, 14 yards and 31 yards. He made his pair of converts.

Castillo was good on a 25-yard field goal and booted three converts.

B.C. led 10-7 after the first quarter, 13-7 at halftime and 20-14 heading into the fourth.

The Lions scored on their first three possessions.

Adams aired out a deep ball to Hollins, whose catch-and-run TD gave the visitors the lead at 2:35.

After the Bombers punted on their first series, they were called for no yards and B.C. started their second drive on Winnipeg’s 35-yard line.

The good field position resulted in Whyte’s 12-yard field goal to make it 10-0 at 7:28.

Winnipeg responded with a 14-play, 70-yard drive capped by Streveler’s one-yard keeper with eight seconds left in the first quarter.

Whyte booted a 14-yarder to make it 13-7 at 6:56 of the second quarter.

After the Lions fumbled the ball, Winnipeg drove down to B.C.’s six-yard line. There appeared to be one second remaining on the clock for a Castillo field-goal attempt, but a command centre review ruled the clock had started one second after the snap and the game went to halftime.

The teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter. Hollins at 4:04 to make it 20-7, followed by Streveler’s second goal-line plunge at 8:54.


Lions offensive lineman Andrew Peirson caught a 13-yard pass from Adams in the second quarter. His completion took B.C. down to Winnipeg’s 12-yard line. The Lions finished the drive with a Whyte field goal.


Lions: Host the Edmonton Elks next Thursday.

Bombers: Travel to Calgary to play the Stampeders on June 29.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2024. Top Stories

Stay Connected