By: Santino Filoso
On a beautiful day for football in Regina, the Redblacks let a golden opportunity to keep pace with the rest of the East slip through their fingers. Ottawa battled hard for the win but ultimately came up short in double overtime, falling to 1-10 on the year.
– Head Coach Rick Campbell gets the boys fired up
– Redblacks call tails on the coin flip and lose, dropping their record to 3-10 on the year
– After Jamill Smith (#15) fields the opening kick, the Redblacks offense comes out of the gate strong, rotating between DJ Harper’s (#28) running and Henry² (Marcus Henry #16) catches, until a flag on Marter (Matt Carter #85) and a John Chick sack derail the drive
– The Greenwhites try to run the ball twice into the teeth of the Redblacks defence which gives them nothing, Smith’s punt return is aided by a 15 yard no yards flag
– With the grace of a ballerina, all 290 pounds of Alex “The Bulldozer” Krausnick (#55) makes a smooth catch before lowering his shoulder and levelling a defender
– Henry Burris (#1) shows that age ain’t no thing as he scrambles 8 yards for a TD
– Saskatchewan moves the ball with back-to-back catches from Weston “I don’t like Ottawa’s money” Dressler, until the drive stalls at Ottawa’s 34 yard line. Kicker Chris Milo’s 40 yard FG is good
– On the ensuing kickoff, Smith showcases his toughness when he gets popped but holds onto the football and bounces right back up
– Despite the Greenwhites going offside the Redblacks go two-and-out when Burris one-hops a pass intended for Wallace Miles (#84)
– Linebacker Travis Brown (#43) sniffs out a screen, forcing another Greenwhites two-and-out
– On 3rd and 1, HC Rick Campbell chooses to punt and Brett “Don’t Talk to Me” Maher (#3) blasts the ball 59 yards for a rouge
– Not content with taking their former name, the Greenwhites also seem to be using Ottawa’s offensive playbook as they continue to go two-and-out
– Tearrius George makes Nolan MacMillan (#66) his plaything and sacks Burris for a 5-yard loss, but a roughing the passer call keeps the drive alive
– A streaking Carlton Mitchell (#88) catches a deep pass on the pump and go
– Offensive co-ordinator Mike Gibson’s Alzheimer’s kicks in as he forgets about Harper and the run game, calling his 12th straight pass
– Redblacks dig into their bag of tricks as they use backup QB Danny O’Brien (#9) to fake the field goal on 3rd and 2, earning a fresh set of downs
– Burris scrambles around a collapsing pocket buying time until Miles gets open for a 12-yard TD, capping off a 13-play, 90-yard drive
– Abdul Kanneh (#14) nearly picks off Tino “Two-and-Out” Sunseri’s misthrow, Antoine Pruneau (#6) breaks up a deep pass intended for Dressler and the Greenwhites punt again
– Ottawa finally runs the ball and newcomer Jeremiah Johnson (#27) picks up 5 yards
– Proving it IS a game of inches, Mitchell just misses hauling in a deep pass
– Refs turn a blind eye to a Maher being run into and a blatant clip as Weston “Not Quite Good Enough for the NFL” Dressler takes the punt return 78 yards to the house
– All alone in space, Miles drops a gimme
– Redblacks do their best Tennessee Titans impression when Smith laterals across the field to Khalil Paden (#13) who jets down the sideline for a 53 yard gain
– Once again evading heavy pressure, Burris connects with Miles in the end zone for the second time, this one an 8-yard TD
– “Rider Pride” is on full display as boos rain down and bounce off ugly watermelon helmets to end the half
– An irate Rick Campbell tries to chat with the referee but unsurprisingly he’s looking the other way
– Rob Bagg gets behind Kanneh but Sunseri overthrows him by the length of a watermelon field
– Smith’s straight ahead running style results in a good punt return
– Burris gets nailed from his blindside as the Redblacks give up their 4th sack of the game
– Still smarting from being run over early in the game, Brackenridge levels Mitchell and forces a fumble
– The Greenwhites quickly make the turnover count when a misdirection play results in a touchdown
– Ottawa responds in a spectacular fashion as catches by Marter and Harper keep the drive alive until Jeremiah “Happy Birthday Momma!” Johnson’s 19-yard TD caps off a 7-play, 66-yard drive
– Saskatchewan goes two and out before Milo’s 65-yard punt rolls out at Ottawa’s 1 yard line
– Facing 2nd and 10, Mitchell makes a 24-yard catch to give the Maher some breathing room when he’s forced to punt. Eric “The Pilot” Fraser (#7) is flagged for no yards
– Kanneh continues to play like a kid jacked up on a sugar high and lowers the boom on Dressler
– Apparently still shaking off the cobwebs, Dressler blotches the hold on Milo’s 43-yard FG attempt leading to a turnover on downs
– The Redblacks offensive line continues their porous play, giving up a 5th sack
– Ottawa’s defence suddenly becomes allergic to tackling as Dressler runs 60 yards through a half dozen missed tackles for a TD
– Henry² (Marcus Henry #16) makes yet another first down catch though the drive ultimately stalls
– Jasper Simmons (#31) is shaken up and newly signed Damaso Munoz (#45) slots in
– Justin Capicciotti (#93) wraps up Sunseri for this 5th sack of the year
– With just over 7 min left in the game, instead of trying to run some clock, OC Gibson continues his trend of ignoring the ground game; Redblacks take maybe 15 seconds off the clock with two incompletions
– Heavy pressure from the defensive line forces a two-and-out
– Johnson picks up 7 yards and 29 yards on back to back run plays
– Burris keeps up the time honoured tradition of QB’s whiffing on blocks as Johnson reverses direction for a short gain
– Playing not to lose the Redblacks elect to keep the ball on the ground on 2nd and 9 at Saskatchewan’s 16 yard line
– Like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor on Tool Time, Maher nails a 24-yard FG with 1:53 left to give the Redblacks an 8-point lead
– Taking advantage of injuries on back-to-back plays in Ottawa’s secondary, Sunseri magically strings together a few passes before a bonehead pass interference call moves the ball 31 yards and sets up the Greenwhites on the 1
– Predictably they score and get the 2-point convert when the Redblacks strategy of leaving Dressler uncovered bites them in the ass
– With enough time on the clock to get into FG or at least punt for a rouge win range, Johnson drops a 1st down catch and the Redblacks inexplicably run the ball on 2nd and 10
– The Greenwhites take a knee to send the game into overtime
– Burris gets hit as he throws and the pass is picked off, Redblacks fans everywhere pull their hair out in frustration
– After two fruitless runs, Milo attempts a 37 yard FG but the snap is mishandled, the kick goes wide-left into the hands of Jamill Smith, who boots it out from the back of the end zone. The punt is caught by Saskatchewan but the punt back is blocked (or short?), sending the game to double overtime. Whew!
Double Jeopardy (2nd Overtime):
– Ottawa chooses to play defence first as R-Nation uses a defibrillator
– Milo’s 22-yard FG is good, meaning the Redblacks control their own fate
– Looking like a rookie, Burris takes an enormous 13-yard sack, pushing the Redblacks out of FG range
– Henry²’s 14-yard catch brings the Redblacks back into FG range leaving Campbell with a decision to either try and tie the game or go for the win on 3rd and 5
– Playing it safe fails when Maher’s 38 yarder is blocked
Final score: Greenwhites 35, Redblacks 32
Burris went 23 of 38 for 282 yards with 3 TDs, 1 INT and 1 rushing TD
Johnson had 7 carries for 49 yards
Henry² made 8 catches for 87 yards
Simmons led the way on defence with 8 tackles
Maher punted 10 times for 492 yards
In a season of frustrating losses, this one easily lands at the top. Despite finally exorcising their offensive demons, the Redblacks defense and a few non-calls by the referees cost Ottawa a much needed win. Burris shook off some early accuracy issues and finally brought the offence to life but his antics in overtime were horrible. He did the two things a QB simply cannot do in OT by tossing a pick and taking a sack. Henry² had a strong game making numerous 2nd down catches to keep drives alive and Miles was either catching TDs or making drops. Johnson and Harper did an admirable job filling in for injured Chevon Walker (#29) but despite averaging over 5 yards a carry, OC Mike Gibson ignored the run game until the worst possible moments, going into ultra-conservative mode at inexplicable times. The offensive line might have played their worst game of the season in terms of pass protection, giving up 6 sacks and making Burris scramble for his life every second pass play.
The normally stout defence came apart at the teams in the 2nd half, making Sunseri look like a seasoned vet as opposed to the green-faced rookie making his second start that he is. Losing some key personnel in Jerrell Gavins (#24) and Kanneh to injury on the game-tying drive certainly didn’t help matters any, along with a crushing pass interference call that put the Greenwhites on the 1. The team’s tackling in general seemed to regress as the game wore on, as evidenced by Dressler weaving his way through the secondary with ease.
Special teams issues reared their ugly head as Dressler’s punt return TD gave Saskatchewan life when they were dead to rights. Two blatant blown calls are poor consolation to R-Nation as this point, even though TSN at least had the balls to point them out during half time. The fake field goal and punt return lateral were extremely well executed and timely calls that gave the team a boost at key moments in the game, both leading to touchdowns.
This loss falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff who got conservative at the worst possible time. Gibson shied away from running the ball all night, despite picking up a healthy amount of yards per carry. Then with the game on the line, he TWICE chose to run the ball on 2nd and long. His decisions were mind-boggling and sent the wrong message to the team., instead of going for the win the Redblacks played not to lose, and it ended up costing them.
With every other Eastern team winning this weekend the Redblacks’ playoff hopes took a serious hit and if they’re going to make any kind of push at all they’ll need to overcome the Als Friday night at TD Place. R-Nation will pack the place and bring the noise, so it’ll be up to the players on the field to snap this exasperating 8-game losing streak.
– All images via CFL.ca and the Ottawa Sun
3 thoughts on “The Saskatchewan Dresslers Outlast the Redblacks”
Truly a disappointing loss, however, hope from the offence. Defense gotta hang in there and yes the offensive coordinator and coach Rick need to get on the ball with play selection. With Montreal coming to town with a QB who seems to be improving with each game its gonna be tough but a win is doable if all the REDBLACKS, players and more importantly the coaches get on the same page. Loose to Montreal and your playoff chances look slim. Great article Double R and love the jabs and pics.
A great game, bad result. I was extremely unhappy with the two draw plays… they did everything they could to win the game and then totally lost the theme at the end.
Still it was entertaining. Looking forward to a home game on Friday!