The Labour Day Classic lived up to its moniker on Sunday.
Brett Lauther kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 19-17 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in front of a sold-out crowd at Mosaic Stadium. After making the kick, Lauther ran down the field and joined happy Rider fans in Pil Country as he chugged back a beer with several of his teammates following him.
The final drive started at the Saskatchewan 5 after Chris Streveler had given the Bombers the lead with less than four minutes to go as it looked as if perhaps they might steal one and strengthen their hold on first place in the West, but Cody Fajardo had other ideas.
Thanks to five completions and 39 yards rushing from William Powell, Cody Fajardo calmly moved the green-and-white down the field to set up Lauther’s heroics and give Saskatchewan their sixth straight win to give them a record of 7-3.
“That was amazing.” Fajardo told reporters after the game. “I’ll remember that game for the rest of my life. Any time you have a kicker that’s as nails as him (Lauther), you just have to get him into that part of the field, and I had that in mind on the last drive.”
Fajardo added that last drive saw the team take the field not feeling any added urgency.
“The huddle was just dead silent and everyone was calm. I just said ‘We had a great opportunity to go down and win the game.’ The guys just believed. As we started driving, we just felt a sense of calmness and it just felt like we were in practice honestly.” Fajardo said.
The two teams will now get ready to face another again in six days time as they will square off in the Banjo Bowl.
With his 5th multi-sack game of the season, Charleston Hughes is now tied for 8th all-time in sacks with Stewart Hill (126)
The Riders have now won 15 of the last 16 Labour Day Classics
Fajardo became the 5th different quarterback to start the Labour Day game for the Riders. (Brett Smith 2015, Darian Durant 2016, Kevin Glenn 2017, Zach Collaros 2018, Fajardo 2019)
The Bombers were the least penalized team in the CFL going into the game, but they had 10 penalties in this contest.