Chris Streveler ran for a pair of touchdowns and Janarion Grant took a punt 72 yards for a major as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stayed in the top spot in the CFL West Division with a 35-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Saturday’s 16th annual Banjo Bowl.
The victory halted Saskatchewan’s win streak at six games and gave Winnipeg its ninth straight victory at home, its longest since a 10-game run during the 1993 and ’94 seasons.
The three-game season series between Winnipeg (9-3) and Saskatchewan (7-4) is tied. The squads face each other again on Oct. 5 in Regina.
Streveler, making his third straight start in place of injured quarterback Matt Nichols, was 15 for 21 passing for 186 yards with no interceptions. He rushed 11 times for 70 yards with the two TDs in front of a soldout crowd of 33,134 fans clad in Bombers blue and Riders green at IG Field.
The Bombers were also without running back Andrew Harris, who was serving his second game of a two-game suspension, as well as injured receivers Lucky Whitehead and Nic Demski and veteran long-snapper Chad Rempel.
Daniel Petermann had a five-yard catch in the end zone for Winnipeg and running back Johnny Augustine chalked up a 58-yard catch-and-run TD. Kicker Justin Medlock was good on five converts.
Saskatchewan, which beat Winnipeg 19-17 last weekend on a game-ending field goal, got its points off an eight-yard TD run by quarterback Cody Fajardo, a 15-yard Brett Lauther field goal and a 63-yard punt single by Jon Ryan.
Fajardo completed 16-of-24 pass attempts for 196 yards with one interception.
Winnipeg led 7-3 after the first quarter, 28-3 at halftime and 35-10 after three quarters.
The Bombers had the game’s first possession and put up a 15-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that took 8:28. It was capped off with Streveler’s first TD plunge after Saskatchewan defensive back Ed Gainey was called for pass interference in the end zone while covering Darvin Adams.
The Riders got the ball and went two and out, including Fajardo being sacked by Bombers defensive lineman Willie Jefferson. He was sacked four times.
On their next possession, the Riders settled for Lauther’s field goal as time expired on the first quarter.
Winnipeg upped its lead to 14-3 at 6:12 of the second with the Petermann TD. Streveler ran for 30 yards in the 10-play, 78- yard drive, including a 21-yard gallop.
Grant notched his third TD from a punt return this season at 12:23.
Jefferson then sacked Fajardo and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Anthony Gaitor. Jefferson did a backflip on the field after the turnover, which led to Streveler’s second TD at 14:51.
Augustine’s TD was followed up by Ryan’s single and Fajardo’s TD with 25 seconds left in the third. A two-point convert attempt failed and Winnipeg led 35-10.
Bombers defensive back Winston Rose had his league-leading eighth interception of the season with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter, but it didn’t lead to any points.
Isaac Harker replaced Fajardo with just over three minutes remaining in the game and got sacked on third and five for a turnover on downs.
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