LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Sept. 2, 2p (3p ET, 9p CET)

REGINA — Prairie pride is on the line as the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers meet at New Mosaic Stadium to continue the Mark’s Labour Day Weekend festivities.

There is always more on the line when it comes to Labour Day Weekend, but the standings make this matchup even more meaningful. Winnipeg and Saskatchewan are currently tied in the West Division with 10 points apiece, setting up a pivotal two-game series.

The Bombers are coming off of a loss to the powerhouse Calgary Stampeders, falling 39-26. The Blue and Gold led the entire game until late in the third quarter when the Stamps scored a go ahead touchdown. Calgary went on to run away with the match in the final 15 minutes, scoring 20 points.

Matt Nichols competed 29 of 44 attempts for 258 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Stamps had Andrew Harris’ number all night, limiting the star running back to just 13 yards on seven carries.

“Offensively we’ve got to make more plays,” offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice told BlueBombers.com. “We moved the ball at times, but they kept us from getting in the end zone enough. You have to score points against Calgary. We didn’t do that.”

The Bombers have now dropped two games in a row heading into their home-and-home series with the Riders.

In light of their recent struggles, Winnipeg has decided to shake up their receiving corps.

Rookie Corey Washington will make his CFL debut on Sunday. The 26-year-old is slated to start at slot receiver ahead of Ryan Lankford, who has been moved to the practice roster.

Fellow receiver Nic Demski played with the Riders for three seasons before signing with the Bombers as a free agent for the 2018 season.

Sunday will be the first time he suits up against his former team.

“I’ve had this circled on my calendar for a little bit now,” said Demski. “I’m excited to get out here. It’s about time to turn things around for this organization. Two wins going into the bye week would be huge. It’s going to be a lot of fun these next two games. Obviously it’s a lot of tradition behind it.

“It’s going to be a lot of emotion behind it and a lot of energy.”

Former Rider turned Bomber Weston Dressler is questionable for Sunday’s bash. He was pulled from the six-game last week but did not return against Calgary, and is listed as a backup behind Washington on the depth chart. Dressler is fifth in receiving in Winnipeg-Saskatchewan Labour Day games, just 32 yards behind former Rider Jeff Fairholm.

Mosaic Stadium, both new and old, is known as being one of the toughest buildings for CFL teams to pick up a victory. No one knows that better than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Riders have won 12 of the last 13 Labour Day Weekend meetings on their home turf.

“There’s a reason why it’s called home field advantage,” said Nichols. “Smart fans understand when to be loud and when to be quiet. They can make it difficult on the opponent coming in. As long as you have everything ironed out with your communication on offence you can overcome it.”

After a shaky start to the season, the Riders have looked impressive in their last two games. Saskatchewan handed the Stamps their first loss of the season two weeks ago, and followed that up with a 24-21 victory over the BC Lions in Week 11.

It was the first game that the Lions dropped at home this season.

“We did enough to win the football game in a very tough environment,” head coach Chris Jones told Riderville.com “It’s a place where nobody else has beat BC over there. They play very well at home. They’ve got a good football team too. I’m proud of our football team.”

The Riders shocked the CFL world just over two weeks ago when they made the decision to release all-starDuron Carter. However, the risky move appears to working in favour of the Green and White.

The team appears to have found their momentum heading into the unofficial start of the CFL season as the Labour Day Weekend approaches.

One player who knows about the Saskatchewan versus Winnipeg rivalry well is receiver Naaman Roosevelt, who will be competing in his fourth Labour Day Classic.

“It’s always exciting to go out and play, especially against them because these games are always physical,” said Roosevlet. “There’s going to be a lot of talking, a lot of trash talking… we know we have to bring our A-game because they’re going to bring their A-game.”

Look for defensive lineman Charleston Hughes to continue his dominance on Sunday’s big stage. The 34-year-old has recorded a sack in his last seven games and was named one of the Shaw CFL Top Performers for the month of August. Hughes is dominating the league with 12 sacks.

By The Numbers:

7 – Rushing touchdowns this season by Andrew Harris, the most by any running back and second in the league behind only Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly.

12 – League leading sacks for Riders defensive lineman Charleston Hughes. Seven players are tied for second, way back of Hughes, with five.

62- The number of times that the Riders defence has forced opponents into a 2-and-out situation, the most in the league.

310.6 – Average net offence given up by the Riders defence per game, second best to only the Calgary Stampeders.

Labour Day Weekend has not been kind to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Riders defeated the Bombers 38-24 last season in a win that saw Saskatchewan dominate from the start. The Riders scored a whopping 34 points in the first quarter and never looked back. Three Riders receivers (Roosevelt, Carter and Bakari Grant), racked up over 100 yards.

The Bombers most recent Labour Day Weekend win was in 2016. However, Winnipeg dropped 11 straight Labour Day games to Saskatchewan prior to the victory.

Will 2018 see a changing of the tides and mark the start of Labour Day success for Winnipeg? Or will Saskatchewan continue to bully the Bombers?

– With files from BlueBombers.ca/Riderville.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2018 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 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Sept. 2, 2p (3p ET, 9p CET)

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