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Banged-up Riders play Bombers in Banjo Bowl

Riders Gameday Preview - Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the road to face Winnipeg in rematch
Jake Dolegala, seen here against Winnipeg in the Labour Day Classic, is again starting for the Roughriders against the Bombers in the Banjo Bowl.

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders are on the road Saturday as they face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in their rematch at Investors Group Field.

The Riders and their fans are still revelling in the 32-30 overtime victory at Mosaic Stadium Sunday during the Labour Day Classic. It was the first time ever in the history of the Labour Day Classic that the game has gone to overtime, and also the first time the Riders had beaten the Bombers in the Classic since 2019.

But it was also a return to a traditionally winning performance for the Riders against the Bombers at home. Now they hit the road for the Banjo Bowl, a game where Roughrider teams have typically had a rough time over the past several years.

This is the third meeting of the season for the two teams and on the line will be the season series for both, which currently stands at one win each. The Riders also hope to move closer to both Winnipeg and BC in the West standings and maintain their lead over Calgary, who won on Labour Day Monday against the Elks and are set for a rematch this weekend in Edmonton. 

Despite the thrilling Riders win on Sunday, that game had not been without controversy. The most notorious moment came late in the contest with defensive lineman Pete Robertson‘s head-butt of Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros. 

That play, which fans criticized as bone-headed, saw the Riders penalized and they ended up giving up a late touchdown to the Bombers which almost cost them the game. 

Now, that play has also cost them Robertson. He was handed a one game suspension by the league, taking him out of the lineup Saturday. 

The Riders lineup will also be missing more starters due to injury. Offensive lineman Colin Kelly, injured in the Labour Day Classic, is out on the six game injured list, and so is Jayden Dalke. 

Jaxon Ford, who was in for Dalke last game and who broke up the Bombers’ final play in overtime to win the game, is in the lineup again while Brandon Council is in at right tackle; C.J. Beavis, Albert Awachie and Zack Fry are also in the lineup. Evan Johnson has been placed on the one game injured list while Frankie Hickson is on the practise roster.

In this game, the Riders hope to be able to cut down on the penalties and try and avoid being baited by the Bombers. 

“Don’t take the cheese, man,” said Head Coach Craig Dickenson after the game Sunday, referring to the Bombers’ uncanny ability to hold onto opposing players and draw penalties. 

Game time for the Banjo Bowl is 2 p.m. Saskatchewan time on Saturday. 

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