Roughriders' win another last minute thriller

With members of the 1989 Grey Cup team in attendance, they no doubt had flashbacks and goosebumps recalling their glorious victory thirty years ago.

When Riders' kicker Brett Lauther calmly walked up and booted the game winner through the uprights with under a minute to play Saturday night, perhaps for the '89ers, it was like Dave Ridgway kicking the cup winner all over again.

That '89 championship team is lost on the present-day Riders as most weren't even born yet, so it's not like they won it for the legendary heroes of yesteryear.

But Lauther is sharp enough though to know his craft and honour those who played before him.

"I wouldn't compare this to that at all, that team was amazing." said Lauther moments after his 39-yarder to beat the Alouettes 27-25.

"Ridgway is the best kicker to ever play here so I just trying to make that kick for the guys after letting them down earlier in the game."

Lauther could have just as easily been the goat.

Just two weeks after his walk-off game winning field goal beat the Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic, Lauther was uncharacteristically 'off' Saturday night against Montreal.

Like Ridgway was the 'Robo-kicker', Lauther is usually Mr. Automatic.

He missed one from 33 yards and even shanked a convert. 

A night like that would put bad thoughts in the heads of plenty of kickers, but for Lauther who spent a good portion of the game apologizing to his teammates, he knew he had a chance to make up for it.

"I knew I was going to make that, I was confident the whole time, if you're at this level and you're dwelling over missing kicks you're just going to put your team in bad positions."

An eight and four record with one third of the season to go is not a bad position at all.

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"Football is not Figure Skating"

Credit to one fan on the post-game phone-in show, "football is not figure skating, it doesn't have to be smooth and pretty."

Saturday's Riders-Alouettes tilt was far from a classic so it's good there are no points for style.

But at least they literally played the full 60 minutes.

Something the two teams were unable to do in last month's weather-shortened Riders' victory in Montreal.

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Credit Saturday also goes to the big screen in Mosaic Stadium keeping the fans largely entertained when the game couldn't.

Glad to see the Roughriders have seriously upped their entertainment package.

Gone are the days of throwing a cheerleader up in the air or Gainer clanging his 'D-Fence' signs hoping to wake up an unconscious crowd.

Today it's timely movie clips of classic pep talks from football coaches and the Rocky theme when the game is on the line.

You haven't lived until you've seen Cody Fajardo lip-sync to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

And you thought Fajardo was just another quarterback.

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I'm sure there were fans ready to give up on Mr. Fajardo after a stinker last week in Winnipeg and another struggle against the Alouettes.

But the kid has a thing for the dramatics as he has driven the team to last minute victories in three of the last four home games.

He had doubts whether a team would want to sign him to a contract extension after his performance in the Banjo Bowl.

But his stock must be up again.

After all, he was signing babies after the game.

You know you're in the big time when parents want your John-Henry on the back of their sweet bundle of joy.

With the Riders' heading into yet another bye week, Fajardo will be sticking around town this time.

Perhaps, now is a good time to stop talking about that new contract, and sign the thing.

THE CANADIAN PRESS