Winnipeg Blue Bombers can clinch playoff spot with win over Riders in Labour Day Classic

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers can clinch a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season with a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in this weekend’s Labour Day Classic.

The Blue Bombers have won five consecutive games and sit atop the West Division standings at 9-2, four points ahead of the second-place B.C. Lions. The club clinched a postseason berth after winning last year’s Labour Day Classic by a score of 20-18, which improved their record to 11-1.

Winnipeg’s team record for most consecutive postseason berths was set from 1980 to 1996, totalling 17 seasons. The club made five Grey Cup appearances over this stretch of time with three championship victories.

Saskatchewan has an all-time record of 37-20 in the Labour Day Classic dating back to 1949 and recently won 11 consecutive meetings from 2005 to 2015. Since then, the clubs have split six meetings evenly with Winnipeg winning the last two. The Blue Bombers haven’t won three consecutive Labour Day Classics since 1982.

Jake Dolegala will start at quarterback for the Riders on Sunday after leading them to a 34-29 victory over the Lions prior to their recent bye week. Winnipeg and Saskatchewan met back in Week 2 with the Blue Bombers earning a 45-27 victory at Mosaic Stadium.

Winnipeg will visit Saskatchewan (5-5) for the annual Labour Day Classic on Sunday, Sept. 3 with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. EDT.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.