The Saskatchewan Roughriders look to take a big step toward clinching their first West Division title since 2009 when they visit the Calgary Stampeders in a pivotal clash Friday. The Roughriders have won nine of their last 10 games, including a 21-6 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Week 17, to take sole possession of first place in the division and hope to increase their lead at the top by knocking off the Stampeders on the road for the third straight time in the rivalry.
"The West is so tough and at this point every game from here on out is going to be a playoff game," Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo told reporters. "We're going to Calgary and it's going to be a playoff atmosphere." Calgary missed a chance to grab a share of first place as it dropped a 21-17 decision to the Montreal Alouettes in Week 17. The Stampeders had won their previous four games before turning the ball over four times in the loss to Montreal, but still control their own destiny in their quest for their fourth consecutive division title as they look to secure the tiebreaker in the series following a 37-10 win over the Roughriders on July 6. "We're not playing to the standard we should be," Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell told reporters. "There are a lot of details that we need to look at ourselves and take care of if we want to be that team and get to the game we want to get to."
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TSN
ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (10-4): Fajardo completed 18-of-23 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown against Winnipeg to help the Roughriders take top spot after the 14-game mark for the first time since 1976. Shaq Evans was named one of the CFL's Top Performers of the Week after he hauled in seven passes for 193 yards and a touchdown against the Blue Bombers to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Saskatchewan signed linebacker Gary Johnson Jr., who appeared in two preseason games with the Washington Redskins in 2019, to the practice roster Monday.
ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (9-5): Mitchell went 31-of-43 for 464 yards and a touchdown against the Alouettes to become the 18th player in CFL history to reach 2,000 completions with 2,029. Josh Huff had his best game in a Calgary uniform as he caught nine passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, but the Stampeders blew a 10-point lead to suffer their fifth defeat in their last six trips to Montreal. Running back Don Jackson rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown in his first action since missing the previous four games with concussion-like symptoms.
1. Calgary is 19-6 at home since the start of the 2017 season.
2. Fajardo has accounted for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games.
3. Saskatchewan has held seven of its last nine opponents to fewer than 20 points.