September 1, 2019

Quick Hits | WPG 17 SSK 19

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) fends off a tackle from Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive lineman Willie Jefferson (5) during first half CFL action in Regina on Sunday, Sept 1, 2019. (CFL PHOTO - MATT SMITH)

5 Quick Takes on the Bombers loss to the Roughriders in the Labour Day Classic :

1. Give the Bombers full marks for the effort, but the end result always seems the same on Labour Day Sunday.

Missing Matt Nichols, Andrew Harris, Jackson Jeffcoat, Brandon Alexander and Pat Neufeld – all starters – the Bombers put up a valiant effort Sunday afternoon in Regina, but fell 19-17 in front of a sun-soaked capacity crowd of 33,350 at Mosaic Stadium. The Bombers took a 17-16 lead on a Chris Streveler one-yard sneak late in the game, but the Riders promptly marched from their own five yard line to set up a game-winning Brett Lauther 26-yard field goal with no time remaining for the win.

And so as much as the pre-game hype for the 55th edition of the Labour Day Classic centred around a Bombers-Riders battle that featured the top two teams in the West Division for the first time since 1954, the end result was predictable – Saskatchewan’s win was its 14th in the last 15 LDC games.

The loss drops the Bombers to 8-3 while the Riders, who have won six straight, improve to 7-3.

2. The Bombers played their first game without Andrew Harris, who was serving the first of his two-game suspension, but got some superb work from his understudy in Johnny Augustine. It was Augustine who got the Bombers rolling with a sensational 55-yard run in the first quarter that set up a touchdown and he finished the day with 12 carries for 98 yards and three catches for 17 yards.

3. QB numbers: the Bombers Chris Streveler completed 16 of 24 for 161 yards, with one nine-yard TD strike to Kenny Lawler and two interceptions. Streveler also rushed 11 times for 65 yards and a TD

Saskatchewan’s Cody Fajardo was 25 of 39 for 300 yards with one TD and two picks  adding eight yards along the ground.

4. Other notable numbers:

  • The Bombers net offence after the first quarter was -10 yards.
  • Winston Rose intercepted Cody Fajardo in the third quarter for his league-leading seventh interception.
  • Johnny Augustine’s 55-yard run was not only the longest of his career, but surpassed his season total – 51 – of last year.
  • The Bombers came into the game as the CFL’s least-penalized time, but were nailed for 11 infractions covering 104 yards.

5. The Bombers are in a stretch of five straight games against the West Division that wraps up with next Saturday’s Banjo Bowl at IG Field. After that, Winnipeg will enjoy its second of three bye weeks this season.