The Roughriders were back at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday, and fell 17-10 to the Calgary Stampeders. This was the fifth straight loss for the Riders.
Both teams went into the game with a 3-4 record and were tied for third in the Canadian Football League West division. Now the Riders are in last place in the West division.
For Brendon LaBatte, it was the quickest he ever got over a loss as he became a father on Sunday morning. When LaBatte got off the field on Saturday afternoon, he had a message on his phone that his fiancé Amanda was about to deliver the baby. He had already missed a few other messages and had not even changed out of his uniform when he finally got to his phone.
LaBatte, Amanda and their new daughter Asha Rose are planning a trip down to Weyburn this week to visit with Brendon’s family.
Reacting to the game itself, LaBatte said, “It wasn’t good. Anytime you lose it is pretty disappointing and it just came down to execution.” Calgary started at their 38-yard line, they moved it all the way downfield and found the end zone with a 34-yard pass to score early.
The Riders’ first drive started at their 34-yard line. They got to the Calgary 33-yard line before punting the ball. The Stamps scored again during their second drive. They started at their eight-yard line and moved it 102 yards downfield, and then scored on a 14-yard touchdown.
The Riders started their second drive at their seven-yard line. They were able to get to the Calgary 41-yard line and attempted a field goal, but the attempt was wide to the right.
After halftime, the Stampeders started at their 38-yard line and ended with a 34-yard field goal for another three points. Saskatchewan started the second half at their 35-yard line, but a fumble was recovered by Calgary to give them the ball.
In the last quarter of the game, the Riders finally scored with a 38-yard field goal. Then a Rider touchdown was scored to make the score 17-10. It was a four-play, 72-yard drive and was aided by two roughing-the-passer penalties.
The Riders had a chance to tie the game with 2:25 left, starting at their 25-yard line, and they went two-and-out. When Saskatchewan got the ball back at their 20-yard line with seven seconds remaining, time ran out with an incomplete pass.
For the offensive line, LaBatte said, “We rushed the ball better than we have before, and that gave us a few big runs.”
The Riders play the Blue Bombers for the next two weekends. They host Winnipeg in the Labour Day Classic on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Mosaic Stadium, then play the “Banjo Bowl” in Winnipeg on Sunday, Sept. 9.
The Blue Bombers will be playing their first game under new head coach Tim Burke. He replaced former Saskatchewan offensive coordinator Paul Lapolice who was fired on Saturday afternoon.
“Anytime you make a head coach change, there is potential to see it all the way through, it can give a team a new start,” said LaBatte. “Our goal is to come out early and put some goals up.”
The Labour Day game can be a “crazy atmosphere,” said LaBatte. This will be his first time playing the game as a Rider, as previously he played for the Blue Bombers.