REGINA — Paul McCallum kicked three field goals and the Saskatchewan Roughriders scored 29 unanswered points to snap their nine-game losing streak with a 37-19 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday.
The last time the Roughriders entered the Labour Day weekend without a win was in 1979. Saskatchewan improved to 1-9, while the Blue Bombers dropped their fourth straight and slip to 3-7.
Quarterback Brett Smith led the Roughriders on a five-play, 73-yard drive late in the third quarter and found Ryan Smith for a 27-yard touchdown strike to put the home team ahead 22-10. The drive was kept alive thanks to a roughing-the-kicker penalty deep in Saskatchewan territory.
Rob Bagg scored Saskatchewan's second offensive touchdown on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Nick Demski, a Winnipeg product and former star with the University of Manitoba Bisons, returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to pull the Riders even at 10-10 mid-way through the second quarter.
McCallum booted a 43-yard field goal on the next Saskatchewan possession and the Roughriders took a 13-10 lead into halftime. McCallum kicked field goals from 32 yards, 43 yards and 25 yards.
Winnipeg jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the game was seven minutes old. Lirim Hajrullahu kicked a 50-yard field goal on the team's first possession, and after a Riders turnover, quarterback Brian Brohm scored on a one-yard touchdown plunge.
Saskatchewan attempted a direct snap to running back Jerome Messam, but the snap sailed high and Winnipeg recovered on the Roughriders' 20-yard line.
But it was all Saskatchewan from that point onward until Cameron Marshall scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 90 seconds remaining in the game.
The Blue Bombers' losing streak at Mosaic Stadium on Labour Day weekend climbed to 11 games. The last time Winnipeg beat Saskatchewan on Labour Day was in 2004 when quarterback Kevin Glenn, now a member of the Riders, threw a pair of touchdown passes.
Announced attendance was 33,427, the second consecutive home sellout this season for Saskatchewan.
Craig Slater, The Canadian Press