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Schrot finds end zone: Winnipegger scores lone TD in Blue Bombers victory

Dylan Schrot may have aborted his well-thought-out celebration, but finding the end zone in his first pre-season game with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is something that will stand the test of time.

A late addition to the Blue Bombers rookie camp, the Winnipegger and University of Manitoba Bisons product hauled in a 48-yard touchdown from Bryan Bennett late in the fourth quarter for the lone major in a 20-3 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night at IG Field.

“I’m lost for words right now, I can’t even really describe it,” said Schrot, who had 846 yards receiving and seven touchdowns for the University of Manitoba Bisons last season. “My first CFL catch, it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life It was a great moment, for sure.

“Just overwhelming, just overjoyed. There’s not much more I can really say about it.”

Schrot got behind the Eskimos defender and Bennett threw a perfect pass for him over the middle of the field to run under.

Once Schrot secured the ball, he was off to the races.

“I had to relocate it in the air there and I was bobbling it as I was running into the end zone,” said Schrot. “I was just so happy that I held on.”

Schrot had come up with some creative end-zone choreography, but by the time he ran over the goal line, his mind was elsewhere.

“I actually had a pick-and-roll basketball celebration all lined up. I knew the play was coming,” said Schrot. “As soon as I got in there (into the end zone), I was just overwhelmed with emotion and that celebration went right out the window.”

Bennett was the only Blue Bombers quarterback to orchestrate a touchdown drive, but he was among those thrilled to see Schrot find the end zone.

“That was awesome experience for him to get to score a touchdown here, in front of his family. That was great to be a part of,” said Bennett. “We had a little bit of time there in the huddle and we were talking about it and we knew we were going to put him on a double move.

“When he scored, he got too excited to do his celebration. But it was a nice way to finish the last drive of the game.”

Schrot will certainly be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the moment.

The Schrot score brought a smile to the face of fellow Winnipegger Brady Olivera, who also made his Blue Bombers pre-season debut on Friday.

“I was extremely excited. Me and him had a good word, after that touchdown catch,” said Olivera. “It was a great catch for him and he finished in the end zone. I joked with him ‘Why didn’t you jump in the stands or something?’ He said ‘Dude, I panicked, I didn’t know what to do.’

“I’m super excited for him. He made the most of his opportunity.”

Schrot is relishing the chance to try and compete for a roster spot on his hometown team.

“It’s really cliché to say, but I’ve really trusted the process and never really lost belief in myself,” said Schrot. “I just focused on getting better every day and all I ever wanted was an opportunity. I didn’t really care whether I was drafted or undrafted or whatever, I just wanted my foot in the door and the rest was on me.

“I’m just happy I was able to showcase what I can do.”

Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea didn’t seem all that surprised when asked about Schrot’s performance.

“He’s had a lot of those,” said O’Shea, referring to Schrot’s penchant for finding pay dirt. “This is one here at this level, but he’s scored a pile of touchdowns and had a pile of catches in games for the Bisons. He’s used to doing that.

“It was nice for him. He was excited and the team is very excited for him. But he’s a talented receiver.”

Schrot is a longshot to make the active roster, but aside from his touchdown reception, he showed his ability on special teams by forcing former Bisons teammate Shai Ross out of bounds after a 75-yard kickoff return during the third quarter.

If Schrot hadn’t made the tackle, Ross would have found the end zone first.

“I got into the wash of things there and saw the returner break outside. At that point I thought (about) a touchdown-saving angle and I’ve got to get on my horse,” said Schrot. “Luckily, I ended up getting there. We joked about it a little bit after the game (with Ross). When I saw him running down the sideline, I just thought in my head, I can’t let him get this or he’ll have this over me for the rest of my life. So I had to make sure that I made that play.”

The Blue Bombers close out their pre-season schedule next Thursday with a trip to Mosaic Stadium to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who were blown out 37-1 by the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night.