Winnipeg – To say Placekicker Justin Medlock single handedly carried the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 28-25 win in Regina on Sunday afternoon would be a little over the top. But not by much.
The most accurate field goal kicker in CFL history booted seven 3 pointers, including the game winner from 43 yards out with no time left to give the Blue Bombers their first Labor Day Classic win since 2004. And the last one at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field before the 1-9 Roughriders move into their new home next season.
Medlock wasn’t making a big deal out of his outstanding performance, telling the 680 CJOB Post Game show, “It’s my job, that’s what I do. Go out there and put points on the board.”
The win was the 5th in a row overall for Winnipeg, and the 5th straight on the road as the 6-4 Blue Bombers stayed within 2 points of second place BC in the West, and 2 points ahead of fourth place Edmonton who visit Calgary on Monday.
As good as Medlock was in going 7 for 8, Saskatchewan counterpart Tyler Crapigna had a tough day missing 2 field goal attempts- and a point after attempt after Kendial Lawrence returned a Medlock punt 84 yards to tie the game at 25-25 with only :43 seconds remaining.
And the Blue Bombers also needed some help from the officials on a highly questionable pass interference call that allowed Winnipeg to move the ball into field goal territory for Medlock. And then the Bombers came within 2 seconds of running the clock out in an attempt to perfectly position the ball.
Winnipeg DB’s Johnny Adams and CJ Roberts picked off Darian Durant passes in the 4th quarter after Saskatchewan had rallied from a 19-3, early third quarter deficit.
Medlock opened the game with 44 and 25 yard field goals, sandwiched around an 82 yard pass and run play when Matt Nichols connected with Quincy McDuffie.
Medlock’s franchise record 22 consecutive field goal streak came to an end in the second quarter when he missed from 44 yards out. But Head Coach Mike O’Shea felt there were extenuating circumstances. “We were short a guy, so he runs on late and that just throws off the timing a little bit. I think it would,” O’Shea told the 680 CJOB Post Game Show. “We need to play a cleaner football game and score some more points. 7’s, you know.”
Nichols completed 27 of 39 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown while Durant went 36/47 for 399 yards, 1 major, and those 2 costly interceptions.
CFL rushing leader Andrew Harris had 15 carries for 80 yards to boost his season total to 631 yards. McDuffie had 7 catches for 153 yards and Weston Dressler, in his first game as a visitor to Regina, also had 7 receptions for 77 yards.
There were reports Bombers Offensive Line Coach Bob Wylie collapsed after the game, but a Bomber spokesperson told 680 CJOB’s Bob Irving that Wylie was fine after being looked at.
Winnipeg and Saskatchewan will meet again in the Banjo Bowl rematch next Saturday at 3 p,m. at Investors Group Field.