Redblacks lose but Ottawa Wins; Recap of 1st ever pre-season game

By: Santino Filoso

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After years of suffering from through Gliebermans, Watters, Enemies of Lansdowne, and the painstakingly drawn out CBA negotiations between CFL players and owners, on Saturday night Ottawa finally resumed it’s rightful place in the CFL. The Redblacks traveled to Regina to play a home game in their road uniforms. Here are our highlights, in case you missed any of the action.

Pre-game:

– Can’t help but comment on how sharp the Redblacks road uniforms look. The white helmets are a refreshing change

– There was a mascot showdown just before the opening kick between Redblacks mascot and Ottawa legend Big Joe Mufferaw  and a rodent known as Gainer, who apparently represents the local Regina team. It’s interesting to note that after said showdown, Gainer was not seen again and Big Joe’s axe looked a little notched (allegedly).

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– Tons of empty seats in Legoland… I mean Mosaic stadium. So much for the GREENWHITES having the most die-hard fans in the league. Attendance was later announced as 13,014, but I doubt it.

1st quarter:

– You couldn’t have written a better opening 2 minutes and 4 plays for the franchise’s history. It started off with a Justin Phillips sack tackle of QB Tino Sunseri, continued with a forced incompletion, punctuated by a 76-yard punt return by rookie Jamill Smith to the Green Riders 2 yard line, before being finished off by a Chevon Walker rushing TD.

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– The 5′ 6″ and 155-pound Jamill Smith’s 76-yard punt return was a thing of beauty and an incredible display of pure speed

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Smith tackled just short of the endzone

– Walker enters Ottawa history as the 1st player to score a TD in Redblacks history

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The historic 1st TD in Redblacks history

– Justin Phillips limped off the field on the ensuing kickoff, not because he was hurt but because he’s a nice guy and wanted to spare the GREENWHITES QBs from further bruising

– The 1st completion in Redblacks history was Henry Burris to Marcus Henry, allowing R-Nation to witness the birth of Henry² (Squared)

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– Ottawa’s run game looked strong with the o-line opening up some huge holes

– Redblacks coaching staff served notice to the league that we’re back and not to be trifled with when Offensive Coordinator Mike Gibson called a play which used the umpire as a pick

– Travis Brown earns the honour of becoming the 1st Redblacks player in history to be penalized drawing a flag for no yards

– Former Eskimo Marcus Henry makes another catch, this time an incredible one hander. Henry²  should be a connection to be reckoned with this season

– After playing 10 snaps, Burris headed to the sidelines and was replaced by QB Danny O’Brien. This ensued:

– Continuing their trend of stealing all things Ottawa, the Wheaties get their own big punt return, this one for 75 yards and a TD

2nd quarter:

– Palardy misses a 34 yard field goal, pushing it wide right

– Jonathon Williams takes a tripping penalty

– Jeff Hunt drops an interesting tidbit while being interviewed saying that Ottawa has the most retired numbers of any team in the league #richhistory

– Durant enters the game and moves the ball at will

– Safety Eric Fraser looks strong in run support, making a number of crunching tackles

– Redblacks continue their game long trend of mightily struggling in punt coverage

– With 3:33 left, the Redblacks snuff out a screen and force a fumble which is recovered by first round pick Antoine Pruneau

– O’Brien flashes his potential on a 15-yard roll out completion before an overthrow

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QB Danny O’Brien

– Justin Phillips puts an exclamation mark on a fine first half of work with another solid tackle

3rd quarter

– Redblacks kicked off to start the 2nd half but quickly re-gain possession thanks to a T.J. Hill interception

– DeMarco proceeds to get Buck Pierced

– Antoine Pruneau has his ‘welcome to the pro’s moment when he gets truck-sticked by Green Rider running back Toston

– Weber leads Green Riders on a long march down the field ending with WR Swain hauling in his 2nd TD grab of the night, making it 21-10

– Pruneau throws a huge hit, showing he can give as good as he gets

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Big hit by Antoine Pruneau on Sask QB Doege

– Trayvon Patterson makes the mistake of fielding a punt in the endzone and is quickly tackled at the 1

– DeMarco completes a pass to Fred Rouse for 26 yards and gives the offense some breathing room

– A beautiful 60-yard TD strike from DeMarco to Patterson rights a wrong and caps a 109 yard drive, closing the gap to 21-17

4th quarter

– Running back D. J. Harper breaks a nice run for a first down

– Rouse makes another catch and picks up some good YAC (yards after the catch), but seems to aggravate his injury and hobbles off the field

– The Redblack sack attack continues when Justin Capicciotti crushes the Sask QB

– Harper lowers his shoulders and pushes the pile for another first down

– With 8:19 remaining a promising drive is snuffed out with a DeMarco interception after an overthrow

– DL Andrew Marshall sniffs out the QB draw with a meaty tackle

– 6:12 left and pinned at the 5 yard line, Alex Carder enters the game for the Redblacks, he completes a 9-yard pass on a nice roll out and strings together a few first downs before telegraphing a throw and getting picked off with 3:23 remaining in the game

– Redblacks get the ball back with 2 min left and despite converting a 3rd and 17, the potential game-winning drive stalls. Ottawa turns it over on downs at the Wheaties 50 with just under a minute left in the game

Final thoughts:

Though they lost on the scoreboard, the Redblacks can hold their heads high. They got a number of strong performances from their starters, Burris and Walker looked sharp and the Henry²  connection figures to be potent. Also, Jamill Smith demonstrated great speed returning punts.

On the downside, punt coverage was suspect. The Redblacks need to tighten up their tackling or they will be gashed all season long. None of the backup QBs really shined, as they all made numerous overthrows, though DeMarco did have one scoring drive. All in all, it was an incredible night for Ottawa and a history one for the league. The Redblacks showed that Ottawa is back and that we won’t be pushed around.

@RedBlackGade

Photos from the Ottawa Redblacks Facebook page

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9 thoughts on “Redblacks lose but Ottawa Wins; Recap of 1st ever pre-season game

  1. Great blog, great day yesterday! We R Back! Don’t forget to follow @RedBlackGade on Twitter. You will love the experience, especially on Game Day

  2. To your comment made about die hard fans in saskatchewan, we do have the most die hard fans but not a lot of people are going to pay sixty bucks for a pre season game that doesn’t count, come back in the first regular season game and you will see a packed loud stadium which you’ve never seen in Toronto, your new to the league so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt but next time you say saskatchewan fans are not loyal, go to a regular season game and you will rethink that statement! You will than see how much we BLEED GREEN!! GO RIDERS! win lose tie rider pride till I die

    1. Appreciate the passion, Bradley. I think the comments were a little tongue-in-cheek. We know how great a fan base you guys have.

      Glad that the Redblacks-Greenwhites rivalry has returned! 😉

  3. Was at the game and was good right from the start, most would of figured that the REDBLACKS would of been a pushover…but they showed them that is not an issue, as a RIDER Fan was impressed at their drives and movements on the field, I will further matches in the future, welcome back to the CFL Ottawa, and good luck in the Future.

    1. I think the best word I heard used about the performance was ‘poise’. They looked under control & worked their game plan. Can’t ask for much more than that from an expansion club. So far, looking like the coaching staff has them well prepared. Thanks for reading!

  4. Very interested to see how the next game is handled from a playing time point of view. There are a lot of decisions to be made.

    Great review, thanks for taking the time.

  5. Thanks for the kind words guys, and make sure to check Defend the R after every game for our recap!

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