LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Sat. Sept. 7, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

WINNIPEG — There’s bound to be fireworks as two West Division rivals meet for the second straight week in a battle for first place.

The annual Banjo Bowl between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders goes down Saturday afternoon at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. The Bombers (8-3) will look to exact revenge on the Roughriders (7-3), who won last week’s Labour Day Classic game 19-17 on a game-winning field goal from Brett Lauther.

“I know the fans are going to bring a lot of energy and they are extremely fired up for this one,” Bombers quarterback Chris Streveler said. “As are we.”

“Sometimes the most rewarding games we’ve been a part of, me as a coach and others as players,” Riders coach Craig Dickenson said, “are when you can go into somebody else’s barn and quiet the crowd. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to do that. We have to play well in order to have that happen.”

The Riders are rolling on a six-game winning streak after last week’s heroics and have their eyes set on first place in the West, currently occupied by their opponent.

“Any time you’re playing for first, I think it’s a big game,” Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo said. “Especially where we’re at in this part of the season. They say once Labour Day hits, teams start to amp it up a little bit and gear it up to put yourself in a good position to make the playoffs.”

But a seventh win in a row won’t come easy, as the Bombers have yet to lose a game at home this year (5-0). Winnipeg’s offence is also atop the West Division, and they’ll look to improve on the 17 points they mustered last week.

“There was just a lot of missed opportunities on offence,” Streveler said. “Couple times we felt like we were in scoring position and then mistakes and penalties pushed us out of there. Situations like that we want to be able to finish with points this week. Get into field goal range or the red zone. We want to be able to finish with points this week.

“It’s going to be a tough game, and you expect that,” Roughriders linebacker Solomon Eliminian said. “There are huge implications. First place, playoff. Jostling for positions.

“They’re the number one team in the CFL for a reason,” he continued. “And that’s because they have good team depth.”

Fourteen quarterbacks have played in the Banjo Bowl, but Cody Fajardo and Chris Streveler will bring that number to 16. It will be the first time that the Banjo Bowl will feature two quarterbacks making their bowl debuts since the 2015 matchup which saw Saskatchewan’s Brett Smith go toe-to-toe against Matt Nichols.

The Bombers also made a few lineup changes ahead of the Banjo Bowl, including the insertion of slotback Rasheed Bailey into the lineup. The 26-year old bounced around with a number of other teams in the National Football League and even had a stint with the BC Lions before joining Winnipeg for the 2019 season.

With receiver Lucky Whitehead out the lineup and on the one-game injured list, it means Bailey will make his first pro start.

“I’m a little emotional,” Bailey said. “I’ve waited so long for this. It’s been like four years now, this is my fifth year being a pro, to get my first start. It literally means everything to me.

“Every last one of those guys in there knows how hard I’ve been working. They know my passion, they know my drive. God has put me in this position and I’m ready.”

Running back Johnny Augustine will also make his second straight start, while Larry Rose III will be his backup. Defensive back Dondre Wright and Sherbrooke linebacker Maxime Latour will also be in the lineup.

As for Saskatchewan, they released Canadian linebacker Layne Hull earlier in the week. Eliminiam will start at MIKE linebacker, in between Cameron Judge at WILL and Derrick Moncrief at SAM.

BY THE NUMBERS

66% — The team that scores first in the Banjo Bowl wins the game 66 per cent of the time (10-5 record)

8 – The Bombers are 5-0 at home this year and they’ve also won their last eight home games. It’s their longest streak since they won 10 between 1993 and 1994.

7 – Bombers’ defensive tackle Jake Thomas will be in his seventh Banjo Bowl, the most among active players.

126 – Roughriders’ lineman Charleston Hughes needs a sack to place seventh all-time in career sacks.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Sat. Sept. 7, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

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