Riders reminisce about celebrating 2019 Labour Day Classic walk-off win in Pil Country

Photo courtesy: Hannah Souster

Brett Lauther’s walk-off field goal celebration in Pil Country is among the most decorated of Labour Day legends in Saskatchewan.

Although, don’t expect it to happen again this weekend, according to Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson.

“I don’t know why he went there in the first place. That place is crazy, I’ve heard what happens in Pil Country. I’ve got good friends who won’t go in there and they’ve got tickets to the game,” Dickenson said with a smirk after a recent practice in preparation for Sunday’s game with the Bombers.

“It sounds like a perfect place, honestly, to watch the game from, to me. But no, he can’t go in there. But if he makes a big one he can celebrate and wave to the fans. But that’s part of the protocol, he’s not supposed to go into the stands.”

Punter Jon Ryan, who held for Lauther’s game-winning kick to end the 2019 Labour Day Classic, made the sprint down to the south end zone of Mosaic Stadium for the epic celebration but came up empty-handed in his pursuit of a Pilsner for himself.

“Everyone wanted to party with me but everyone was double-fisting and they would not give up their [Pilsners] for me. I remember Brett managed to pry one of those [Pilsners] out of someone’s hands and enjoy one but I just got it all over my shoulders.”

How did coach Dickenson partake in the last Labour Day post-game celebration?

“I think I went across, shook hands with Mike [O’Shea] and then I went inside and cracked a cold one, myself, in the company of a few coaches. We’re not afraid to do that. We were honouring the folks in Pil Country in our own special way in our own locker room. So, feel free to send a few more our way.”

It sounds unlikely Rider fans will see an encore in 2021 with the COVID rules that Dickenson alluded to.

However, it wasn’t so long ago in training camp, before the coronavirus protocols were as greatly understood as they are now, when Lauther himself left the door open just a crack.

“Nothing formally planned but I mean I think if it comes down to it and we’re going to kick a game winner or something, it might just spontaneously happen and we’ll end up back in Pil Country, so who knows? We had a lot of fun with it and the fans thought it was cool, too. So maybe we’ll head back this year.”

In light of the Edmonton Elks recent COVID controversy, it’s sounding like a long-shot but don’t be surprised if the TSN cameras pan over to that south end zone at the end of a Rider win just in case.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.