The first game of the CFL triple-header was possibly one of the most anticipated games of the weekend. It was time for the Banjo Bowl, the rematch between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. These teams clashed just a week ago and it was all Blue Bombers in that one. That was a trend that would continue into this game. Here are the takeaways from their dust-up in Winnipeg.
Blue Bombers Make Massive Statement
If you thought destroying the Roughriders in their own building on Labour Day was a statement, how about crushing them for the second time in two weeks? For two consecutive weeks, the Blue Bombers have flexed their muscles and laid a beat down on the Roughriders.
These two wins have put the league on notice, especially after people thought that maybe the Roughriders might be the best team in the league — including us. Right now, it’s easy to see that the Blue Bombers are the team to beat in the CFL and Zach Collaros is the best quarterback in the league. Statement made for Winnipeg.
Fajardo Injury Is Bad News
Right now, we don’t know just how bad the Cody Fajardo injury might be, but it’s still very bad news for the Roughriders. He entered the concussion protocol after being sacked early in the third quarter of the game and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. With concussions, it’s nearly impossible to know how long it will take him to get back and it all depends on just how bad it really is.
In Fajardo’s absence, Isaak Harker took over the Roughriders offence. While Harker didn’t look horrible in the game or anything, it’s clear that the Riders lack that punch they have had ever since Fajardo took over. If Fajardo is good to go next week against Toronto, the Riders should be fine. If they have to go into that game with Harker as the starting quarterback, then they might be in a little trouble.
Maybe Andrew Harris Shouldn’t Have Been Ejected After All
At the end of the second quarter, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had Sean McGuire sneak into the endzone for a touchdown, but the touchdown wasn’t even close to the most interesting thing on the field. A fight broke out on the field that saw both A.J. Hendy and Garrett Marino ejected for the Roughriders, and while many thought that Andrew Harris should have been ejected for pulling a Riders player’s helmet off, the officials may have made the right call by allowing Harris to continue playing in the game.
Although it doesn’t seem to make too much sense, forcefully pulling a player’s helmet off of their head does not result in automatic disqualification unless it is used to strike a player afterwards. Article two, section A in the CFL rulebook says this:
“A player shall be penalized and subject to disqualification for any act of rough play against an opponent, including but not limited to: Striking an opponent with the fist, hand, knee, elbow or helmet in an excessively rough manner…”Article two, section A in the CFL rulebook
Technically, Harris still could have been ejected under this rule, but he does not need to be. I thought it was worthy of an ejection immediately after the fact, but seeing the rulebook and what it says about the matter makes me believe differently. I would have been okay with an ejection, but 15-yards against Harris works for me here, although he should still be fined for his actions.
How Do the Roughriders Bounce Back?
Things have got a little bit interesting in the West division, especially for the Roughriders who have been backed into the rest of the pack after two losses to the Bombers. Now with the BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and even the Edmonton Elks nipping at their heels, you have to wonder how they are going to respond going into week seven.
Things aren’t about to be east for the Riders who play the Argonauts this upcoming week, the Lions after, and a double-header against the Stampeders looms before their week 11 bye. There are some serious points to be gained or lost in the coming weeks, but they won’t be easy.
Passing Yards: Zach Collaros (WPG): 278
Rushing Yards: William Powell (SSK): 88
Receiving Yards: Nic Demski (WPG): 134
Touchdowns: Sean McGuire (WPG): 3
Tackles: Godfrey Onyeka (SSK), Deatrick Nichols (WPG): 7
Special Teams Tackles: Mike Miller (WPG), Les Mauro (WPG), Kevin Brown (WPG): 2
Sacks: Willie Jefferson (WPG): 2
Interceptions: Adam Bighill (WPG): 1
13th Man Sports’ Player of the Game
POTG: Nic Demski
5 receptions, 134 yards, 83 yards after the catch