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Adams leads B.C. Lions to 26-24 win as Blue Bombers remain winless

Alexander Hollins hauls in pair of TDs for victors
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) gets the throw away as B.C. Lions’ Joshua Archibald (94) wraps him up during first half CFL action in Winnipeg, Friday, June 21, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Vernon Adams Jr. threw a pair of touchdown passes to in a 26-24 B.C. Lions’ victory Friday that kept the Blue Bombers winless this season.

Winnipeg has lost its first three games of the season for the first time since 2012.

Adams connected with Hollins on a 71-yard catch-and-run score and a 29-yard TD reception. Hollins finished with seven catches for 215 yards.

The visiting Lions bumped their record up to 2-1 in front of 31,210 unhappy Bombers fans at Princess Auto Stadium.

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 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.

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

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

Whyte was also good on field goals from 12, 14 yards and 31 yards and made his pair of converts.

Castillo made 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.

READ MORE: B.C. Lions QB Vernon Adams Jr. named CFL’s top offensive player

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

Winnipeg’s injury-riddled defence had some bite on the Lions’ next possession. Adams was sacked by linebacker Brian Cole, followed by another pull down from rookie lineman Ali Fayad.

After Streveler’s third TD, fans watched a trio of field goals keep shifting the lead.

Winnipeg was forced to punt after B.C. went ahead 26-24.


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.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press