Saskatchewan's Kendial Lawrence returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 25-25 less than a minute before Medlock's kick. The Riders needed a convert from Tyler Crapigna for the victory, but the second-year kicker missed his attempt and set the stage for his counterpart on the opposing sideline.
Crapigna struggled with accuracy all game, missing two field goal attempts (43 and 45 yards) and the last minute convert.
The Roughriders had a few reasons to feel the game was "taken away" from them as Head Coach & GM Chris Jones stated after the game. The Bombers mounted their game-winning drive with :43 remaining and a questionable Pass Interference call on Rider DB Justin Cox put the Bombers into position for the game-winning field goal. Cox had seemingly cut underneath Winnipeg receiver Weston Dressler to snare the interception off Bomber quarterback Matt Nichols however he was called for contacting Dressler. Replays showed no contact at all.
Winnipeg (6-4) won its fifth in a row and snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Roughriders on Labour Day weekend. Saskatchewan (1-9) has lost five in a row and is 4-24 in its last 28 games since the beginning of 2015.
Winnipeg jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a field goal from Medlock and an 82-yard touchdown reception from Matt Nichols to Quincy McDuffie. The Blue Bombers led 16-3 at halftime.
Saskatchewan rallied in the second half with Darian Durant leading the charge. The Roughriders quarterback hooked up with Caleb Holley for a four-yard touchdown pass, with Holley hauling in a two-point convert to make it 19-11 after three quarters.
A four-yard touchdown run by Durant, followed by another Durant rush for a two-point convert knotted the score at 19-19 on Saskatchewan's next drive early in the fourth quarter.
Note: Both teams will meet again on Saturday in Winnipeg for the Banjo Bowl. ... The Roughriders were 0-9 heading into Labour Day last year.
(With files from the Canadian Press)
CHRIS JONES POSTGAME COMMENTS
ON THE LOSS
CJ: Any time you lose in the waning moments of the game, it's tough. When you possibly have a win, espcially when you're on the (losing streak) that we're currently on, and the kids fought that hard, and to have it pulled away, that's tough.
WHY WAS IT A TOUGH NIGHT FOR K TYLER CRAPIGNA?
CJ: Good question. Tyler did have a tough night but we've had some other tough nights from other guys. We've just gotta keep working with him. He's got work to do like everybody else. I haven't spoken to him. I'll just tell him to keep his head up and keep working. We're not going to execute the kid. He's probably harder on himself than anybody else is. I'm sure he's crushed.
HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?
CJ: They'll bounce back. They're too tough. They're too mentally tough, too physically tough. There wasn't an ounce of anybody complaining when we were down 19-3. I've been around a lot of good team's that've won the Grey Cup that would be complaining and pointing the finger. They'll be back and we just gotta keep on chopping wood.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO TURN THE CORNER?
CJ: That's a good question. I'm looking for a book that I can read that'll tell me that answer. Again, we know we've got good players in our room and we have confidence in them. I feel like our players have confidence in our staff. We just have to stick together and keep working. Eventually if we work hard enough, the bounces will go our way.
WHY THE SLOW STARTS WEEK AFTER WEEK?
CJ: That's a good question. That's the same question that I asked at halftime. We have to be able to get out of the chutes quicker and not always be behind the 8-ball. We gotta look at what we're doing pregame or whatever we can do as coaches to make sure they're ready, focused and ready to go.
WHAT DID YOU TALK TO THE OFFICIALS ABOUT AT HALFTIME?
CJ: The bump on Caleb Holley, I came back in and watched it and I was just letting them know I'd like to know what the Command Centre didn't see to overturn their call. I'll be waiting to hear from them what the explanation is.
WAS THE CALL ON JUSTIN COX AT THE END ACTUALLY P-I?
CJ: They've already fined us $65,000 for doing the same thing everybody else in the league does so I don't want to get fined $25,000 for them viewing me as commenting on anything that has to do with officiating. Again, you saw the play and you probably have your opinion.
DOES THAT CHEAPEN ANYTHING FOR YOU?
CJ: If I didn't challenge those plays, if I hadn't seem them, you wouldn't throw a flag if you didn't think you had a pretty good chance to get a call. For whatever reason people are starting to call these "fishing expeditions". For whatever reason, that's become the moniker. I saw the plays on the Ipad and I saw the one on the big screen. From my view, (Roosevelt) got his hands under the ball. Maybe when he rolled over or whatever.
Anyway, that's a part of it. Everybody has to go through this and there's been a lotta calls that I've thrown the flag and didn't get the call. I've gotta do a better job of looking at that Ipad a little better so that my flags are a little bit more efficient.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHALLENGING PROCESS?
CJ: I'm a little leery of saying anything critical of the way we do things. I've got my views and I guess I'd better hold on to them. It's one of those deals where, about four years ago we had the highest (TV) ratings ever, and you know, I'll just leave it at that.
|John Murphy voices his thoughts|
KENDIAL LAWRENCE LABOUR DAY PUNT RETURN TD