WINNIPEG – Rookie receiver Dalton Schoen caught three touchdown passes and running back Brady Oliveira scored twice as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers clinched first place in the CFL West Division for the second straight season with a dominating 48-11 victory over the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
The two-time defending Grey Cup champions improved their record to 14-2 in front of 27,159 fans at IG Field and earned a bye before hosting the West Final on Nov. 13.
The loss officially eliminated the Elks (4-12) from the playoffs because they can’t pass the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10).
Winnipeg also got a touchdown from receiver Nic Demski.
Schoen and Demski’s TDs achieved some notable league and franchise marks.
The 25-year-old Schoen, who hails from Overland Park, Kan., moved up in the CFL record book for most touchdowns by a rookie. His 12th, 13th and 14th TDs of the season moved him into third place. Derrell Mitchell is second for his 17 TDs in 1997 with Toronto and B.C.’s David Williams holds the record of 18 set in 1988.
Schoen, who had a pair of 25-yard touchdown receptions and a 65-yard major, finished with seven catches for 162 yards.
Demski pulled in a 31-yard TD pass from Zach Collaros on the game’s opening drive, giving him at least one TD in six straight games (eight TDs during that span). The last Bomber to score in six straight games was running back Charles Roberts in 2006.
The Bombers led 14-1 after the first quarter, 28-8 at halftime and 28-11 heading into the fourth quarter.
Collaros completed 11-of-13 pass attempts in the first half for 193 yards, three TDs and one interception.
Collaros had a run of 10 straight completions to start the game before feeling pressure and throwing an incompletion. He was knocked down by Elks linebacker Adam Konar and appeared a bit shook up, and was intercepted by defensive back Jeff Richards with 39 seconds left in the second quarter.
Backup Bombers quarterback Dakota Prukop threw a 24-yard TD strike to Oliveira on a second-and-one play midway through the second quarter. Oliveira scored his second TD with a three-yard run 58 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Schoen recorded his third TD of the game when he held on to backup quarterback Dru Brown’s 65-yard pass with 3:33 left in the fourth.
Winnipeg kicker Marc Liegghio booted a pair of field goals from 43 and 37 yards and made all six of his convert attempts.
Collaros finished the game 15-of-19 passing for 241 yards, three TDs and one pick.
Edmonton quarterback Taylor Cornelius was 11-of-24 for 137 yards and one TD.
The Elks got their first point when Winnipeg conceded a punt single in the first quarter.
Edmonton receiver Dillon Mitchell hauled in a 59-yard TD catch at 3:05 of the second quarter. He’s gone six consecutive games with a reception of 40-plus yards. He finished with six catches for 106 yards.
Elks kicker Sergio Castillo was good on his convert attempt and chipped through a 16-yard field-goal attempt at 7:05 of the third quarter.
Liegghio’s pair of field goals in the fourth quarter came after Edmonton fumbles, one during a punt return and one after Cornelius was sacked.