By: Santino Filoso
On a beautiful fall night for football in front of their 7th straight sell-out crowd, the Ottawa Redblacks snapped their 9-game losing streak in dramatic fashion. A strong running game and suffocating defence moved Ottawa’s record to 2-11 on the year, mathematically keeping them in the playoff race for another week.
– The Winnipeg Free Press features an awesome article on the CFL’s return to it’s rightful place in Ottawa
– Even a 9-game losing streak can’t dampen R-Nation’s enthusiasm on game day
– Carleton Security waits until the 7th home game to declare tailgating illegal, probably on grounds of safety. Meanwhile students continue to drink themselves blind in their dorms, Mike’s and Ollie’s
– Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame welcomes Ed Laverty and NCAFA president Steve Dean into their ranks
– The man in charge of Canada decides to take in the game
– Proving that offensive lineman don’t run an inch more than they need to, Jon “Dangerbeard” Gott (#63) just clears the tunnel
– The Redblacks lose yet another coin flip, falling to 3-12 on the year
– Setting the tone early, Travis “Sticky Fingers” Brown (#43) shows why he’s Ottawa’s tip drill champ, picking off an errant pass and taking it 37 yards to the house behind a massive block from Jasper Simmons (#31)
– Henry Burris (#1) and the offence start out strong as Henry² (Marcus Henry #16) and Dobson Collins (#80) make back to back first down catches but after the zebras ignore a blatant face mask, Brett Maher’s (#3) 52 yard FG attempt is shanked and returned 114 yards for a TD
– The Redblacks go two and out while Maher takes out his anger on the ensuing punt, smashing it into the stratosphere
– Antoine “The Phenom” Pruneau (#6) nearly gives Ottawa their second pick six of the night but can’t squeeze it
– Henry² lets an easy catch bounce off his fingers into the arms of a Bomber defender who brings it back to Ottawa’s 46 yard line
– Jerrell Gavins (#24) knifes in and takes down Grigbsy in the backfield
– 6’3”, 235 pound defensive lineman Justin Capicciotti (#93) drops into coverage and makes an incredible open field tackle to prevent a touchdown, Bombers settle for a 9 yard field goal
– Jonathon Williams (#23) busts an 11 yard run to end the quarter
– Ottawa’s offensive line fails to pick up the blitz and Burris is sacked for a 4 yard loss
– Following Maher’s punt, double fouls on the Bombers force them to start on their own 3 yard line
– Under heavy pressure, Willy just manages to get back to the line of scrimmage before being tackled by Zack Evans (#92)
– Feeling jealous as the spotlight shift away from him to Henry² who hauls in back to back catches, Williams literally makes something out of nothing on a 53 yard run into the end zone
– Sloppy special teams tackling on full display as Winnipeg takes the kick off 61 yards to start at Ottawa’s 43 yard line
– The Redblack’s lead disappears faster than your date when the bill arrives as the Bombers regain the lead by punching it in from the 1 following a Clarence Denmark 28 yard catch and run
– Burris gets nailed with a late hit and goes down hurt, Bombers get flagged for roughing the passer and Danny “Boy” O’Brien (#9) enters the game
– Williams continues to rip off strong runs, gaining 6 and 27 yards on consecutive plays before O’Brien caps off the drive with a 5 yard TD pass to Khalil Paden (#13), who knew both of his back ups would throw TDs at home before Burris?
– Showing no confidence that their special teamers can make a tackle, the Redblacks squib the kick off to avoid giving up a long return
-Capicciotti’s 2nd down sack is wiped out by an offside flag giving Winnipeg new life
– The Bombers forego a 45 yard FG attempt and heavy pressure causes Willy to throw an incompletion 3rd and 5
– R-Nation breathes a sigh of relief as Burris returns and proceeds to hit Paden and Wallace Miles (#84) for gains of 20 and 9 yards as FB John Delahunt (#49) absolutely earholes a defensive lineman.
– Burris dumps a short pass to Williams who makes 4 guys miss as he rumbles 37 yards to the 3 yard line
– Finding the push that was lacking last week, Burris dives into the end zone on a QB sneak for the TD.
– After 30 minutes the Redblacks lead 28-17
– Karate and Dragon Ball Z replace pigskin on the field for 10 minutes
– Ottawa receives and Burris is forced to take a timeout because Williams forgets to come on the field
– Wallace “Money” Miles (#84) makes a 17 yard catch, fumbles and recovers
– More strong running from Williams plus catches by Marter (Matt Carter #85), Miles and Delahunt lead to a 25 yard Maher FG
– Refs do their best to steal the show when Jermaine Robinson (#32) is flagged for a late hit on not a late hit
– Jealous of all the attention the other Williams is getting, Jonathon “Big” Williams (#75) takes down Willy
– On the ensuing punt “Big” Williams takes his 800th unnecessary roughness penalty giving the Bombers a fresh set of downs
– Brandyn Thompson (#25) drops a interception in the back of the end zone
– Winnipeg’s 23 yard FG makes it 31-20
– Burris and company roll as Marter and Dobson haul in 13 and 14 yard cathces, while Willams gains 17 on the ground before taking a screen another 15 yards
– Scott Macdonell (#83) impresses for the 2nd straight week with a 23 yard catch and run, stepping out of bounds on the 3
– Williams second TD of the night caps off an 8 play 75 yard drive
– The Redblacks tack on a single as the kickoff rolls through the end zone
– Former Bomber Jovon Johnson (#2) blows up a wide receiver screen
– Rod Black notes it’s starting to rain and says “Willy’s got to deal with wet balls now”
– After three quarters R-Nation feels like this finally might be the one we don’t find a way to lose
– Maher splits the uprights with a 32 yard FG
– A drunk fan takes the field and chest bumps a few defensive players before security hauls him away
– Nursing a huge lead, the Redblacks defence goes to work as R-Nation ramps up the noise.Capicciotti gets a sack and the Bombers get flagged for two false starts before they punt
– The Bombers recover a Patrick Lavoie (#81) fumble but the defence bails him out with back to back sacks from Evans and Andrew Marshall (#90)
– The Redblacks go two and out with two incomplete passes as Mike Gibson once again abandons the run
– Willy gets hit as he throws and Gavins gets Ottawa’s second pick of the night and returns it 65 yards. Gavins is shaken up on the play as he’s dragged down from behind
– Faced with 3rd and 3 on Winnipeg’s 33 yard line, the Redblacks keep their offence on the field and turn the ball over on downs when Burris’ pass falls incomplete
– Moton Hopkins (#95) gets in on the sack attack, dropping Willy for a 5 yard loss
– Ottawa gets their 3rd interception of the night courtesy of Thompson
– Multiple hand offs to Williams close out the game as the Redblacks run the clock and move the chains
Final score: Redblacks 42, Winnipeg, way less than that so who cares!
Burris completed 24 of 31 passes (77%) for 284 yards with 1 INT
Williams ran the ball 21 times for 180 yards and 2 TDs
Miles hauled in 3 passes for 55 yards
Maher punted 3 times for 156 yards
Gavins made 8 tackles and 1 INT
Finally. R-Nation packed TD Place seven times waiting for a dominating win and they finally got it as the Redblacks beat up on the slumping Blue Bombers. Ottawa’s offence came alive at home as TD Place finally lived up to its name. Burris was incredibly sharp, completing pass after pass as his receivers ran crisp routes and hung onto the ball. The star of the game was Williams as he tore through Winnipeg’s defence piling up 229 total yards. The offensive line deserves major props for opening huge holes and keeping Burris upright. Many people in Ottawa had been calling for OC Mike Gibson’s head (myself included) but tonight’s 500 yards of total offence will go a long way towards appeasing the masses.
Aside from a few miscues, the defence was their typical stingy selves, generating three interceptions to go along with six sacks. Willy rarely had a clean pocket to throw from and heavy pressure led to a number of incompletions; the defensive line simply terrorized and imposed their will on the Bombers. Numerous players stood out but Gavins in particular had a whale of a game as he made a number of tackles to go along with his near pick six.
Maher had a decent night kicking though long his long range FG attempts continue to miss. Special teams tackling was incredibly poor and the Redblacks are lucky that the TD they gave up didn’t come back to haunt them.
All in all this was exactly what the Redblacks and their fans needed. Ottawa’s had some terrible luck throughout their 9 game losing streak and fans who did their part by continuing to back the team through their growing pains were rewarded with the Redblacks’ most impressive effort of the year. R-Nation gets a special shout out for making TD Place LOUD. The team feeds off the crowd’s energy and the fans were definitely a factor tonight. With the playoffs still a long shot, Ottawa will spend Thanksgiving weekend in BC to take on the Lions and hopefully build off their impressive win.
– All images via the Ottawa’s Redblacks site