Good luck charm: Laura Fajardo watches husband Cody gut out Riders victory versus Bombers

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Laura Fajardo watched her husband in Regina for the first time and she must have winced in pain more than once.

Cody Fajardo was batted around by the Bombers — Winnipeg’s sideline bench delivered the hardest blow (literally) — but the new face of Saskatchewan’s franchise toughed it out, dragging the green and white to a 21-6 win. Fajardo and his No. 1 target Shaq Evans provided the knockout shot late in the fourth quarter.

Evans scored the 61-yard touchdown to cap a seven-catch, 193-yard game. It was his fifth touchdown and fifth 100-yard game of the season.

The performance also put Evans over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his CFL career. TSN picked up audio of Evans telling the camera he was the best in the league.

Fajardo took care of the football and led the Riders in rushing yards. He finished 18-of-28 for 299 yards and one touchdown with nine carries for 47 yards. The Riders’ quarterback was able to guide four field goal drives, generating enough offence to support a punishing defence. There were some sprinkles of Jesus to help.

A.C. Leonard had the biggest hit of the game, blowing up Chris Streveler from the blindside on a third quarter sack. He knocked the ball loose and Canadian Zack Evans recovered, halting a once-promising drive for Winnipeg. That was just the first time the Riders thwarted a Bombers’ attempt for scores in the second half.

Later in the third quarter, Streveler had his offence in the red zone and was looking for Nic Demski in the back of the end zone. But Ed Gainey undercut the throw for a well-timed interception, taking potential points off the board. It was Gainey’s second consecutive game with a pick.

Winnipeg was on the move in the final frame when Streveler put up a deep ball down the sideline for Demski. L.J. McCray leapt and made a highlight reel interception. It earned McCray the Riders’ big play chain as the former NFLer notched his second pick of the season.

The Riders defence intercepted Streveler twice and sacked him three times, but he was under constant duress when dropping back to pass. Streveler completed 26-of-40 passes for 254 yards and ran 12 times for 48 yards. Winnipeg failed to reach double digits in the points column for the first time in this season.

After missing the first two games against Saskatchewan due to serving a two-game suspension for a positive drug test, Andrew Harris ran for 67 yards on 11 carries (6.1 yards per carry) and had four catches for four yards.

Following Calgary’s loss in Montreal, the Riders have moved to first place in the West Division and earned the season series over Winnipeg. The Saskie boys have won nine of their last 10 games and are the hottest team in the CFL outside of Hamilton.

Saskatchewan travels to Alberta for a matchup with the Stamps that could decide the top spot and bye week in the West. Fajardo’s good luck charm won’t be in attendance, but she’ll still send him the same text she does before every start he’s had so far.