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Willy, Blue Bombers rout Argonauts

Jun 27, 2014 - 4:00 AM Winnipeg, MB ( - Drew Willy had four touchdown passes and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers rolled to a 45-21 victory over the Toronto Argonauts to open the 2014 CFL season.

Willy went 19-of-27 for 308 yards with an interception, while Aaron Kelly caught five passes -- two for scores -- for 100 yards for the Blue Bombers (1-0), who finished a miserable 3-15 last season, but won in the debut of new head coach Mike O'Shea.

Ricky Ray was 27-of-38 for 283 yards and two touchdowns for the Argonauts (0-1), who went 11-7 last season to win the East Division, but fell in the division finals to Hamilton.

Winnipeg dominated the first quarter and scored on its first possession as Willy floated a pass into the right corner and Kelly came up with a catch over the shoulder for a 27-yard score 3 1/2 minutes in.

Later in the quarter, the Blue Bombers recovered a fumble and that led to a 9- yard touchdown pass from Willy to Kelly for a 14-0 lead with around four minutes to play.

On the last snap of the opening quarter, Lirim Hajrullahu hit an 8-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.

Willy and Cory Watson connected for a 25-yard touchdown with 2:54 left in the second quarter for a 24-0 lead, but the Argonauts got a 77-yard kickoff return from Branden Smith and that set up a 14-yard scoring catch by Jason Barnes from Ray.

Winnipeg's first possession of the second half saw a new rule come into effect. A passing play into the end zone was ruled incomplete as Brandon Underwood covered the intended target. However, a rule change in the offseason now allows coaches to challenge potential pass interference calls, and Winnipeg successfully challenged the play, resulting in a pass interference penalty that gave the team the ball at the 1-yard line. Robert Marve punched the ball in on the next play for a 31-7 lead.

Toronto came back with a 10-play drive that covered 77 yards and was capped on a 5-yard scoring toss by Ray to Jeremiah Johnson to make it a 31-14 game.

The Argonauts got a turnover on the Blue Bombers' next touch as Underwood picked off a Willy pass, but the next play saw Johnson fumble a carry and Demond Washington took it 35 yards the other way for a score and a 38-14 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third.

Willy tossed his fourth touchdown of the game on a 6-yard score to Julian Feoli-Gudino for a 45-14 game, while Toronto got an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown by Chad Owens late in the game to account for the final score.

Game Notes

Toronto won all three games against Winnipeg last season ... Nic Grigsby carried the ball 21 times for 122 yards for Winnipeg ... Owens led all receivers on Toronto with eight catches for 78 yards ... Winnipeg hosts Ottawa next Thursday ... Toronto hosts Saskatchewan next Saturday.