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Blue Bombers thump Riders 35-10 in Banjo Bowl

WINNIPEG — The Saskatchewan Roughriders struck all of the wrong chords during a 35-10 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Saturday’s 16th annual Banjo Bowl.

The Riders were outplayed in all facets of the game by the Blue Bombers, who improved their first-place record in the West Division to 9-3. The Riders fell to 7-4 and had to settle for a split in the home-and-home series between the division rivals. Saskatchewan beat the Blue Bombers 19-17 in the Labour Day Classic on Sunday.

Winnipeg and Saskatchewan are to meet again Oct. 5 at Mosaic Stadium.

The result snapped the Riders’ winning streak at six games. Saskatchewan hadn’t lost since falling 37-10 to the visiting Calgary Stampeders on July 6.

Winnipeg opened the scoring with an impressive 15-play, 97-yard drive after the opening kickoff.

The Riders appeared to have the Blue Bombers buried deep in their own zone after a seven-yard sack of quarterback Chris Streveler left Winnipeg on own three-yard line. Streveler bounced back with a 17-yard run on the next play.

The Blue Bombers’ quarterback capped the long drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Justin Medlock’s convert staked the Blue Bombers to a 7-0 lead at 8:47 of the first quarter.

The Riders got on the scoreboard after a 16-yard field goal by Brett Lauther on the final play of the first quarter.

The Blue Bombers went ahead 13-3 when Daniel Petermann hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Streveler. Medlock’s convert increased Winnipeg’s lead to 14-3 at 6:12 of the second quarter.

Janarion Grant returned a Jon Ryan punt 72 yards for a TD at 12:23 of the second quarter as the Blue Bombers jumped into a 21-3 lead after Medlock’s convert.

The Riders have surrendered five touchdowns on special teams — three on punt returns, one on a kickoff return and another on a missed field goal — this season.

Winnipeg converted a Saskatchewan turnover into another touchdown late in the second quarter.

Former Rider defensive end Willie Jefferson sacked and forced Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo into a fumble that was recovered Anthony Gaitor on Saskatchewan’s 33-yard line.

Four plays later, Streveler scored on a one-yard run. Winnipeg went ahead 28-3 at 14:51 of the second quarter on Medlock’s successful convert.

At 4:30 of third quarter, Streveler hooked up with Johnny Augustine on a 58-yard touchdown strike. Medlock’s convert gave the Blue Bombers a 35-3 lead.

Saskatchewan scored at 7:30 of the third quarter when Ryan connected on an 63-yard single and the Riders trailed 35-4.

Fajardo led the Riders on a nine-play, 80-yard drive, which he capped with an eight-yard touchdown run at 14:35 of the third quarter. Saskatchewan missed the two-point convert attempt and trailed 35-10.

The Riders return to action next Saturday when they play host to the Montreal Alouettes. The Blue Bombers are on a bye week.