Redblacks overcome Alouettes in OT to halt four-game losing streak

Photo credit: Johany Jutras

The Redblacks finally got back in the win column Friday night with a gutsy come from behind victory over the Montreal Alouettes. Ottawa prevailed 30-27 in overtime to halt their four-game losing streak.

Devonte Dedmon was the story of the game. The return specialist scored not one, but two long return touchdowns in the first half. They were the only points scored by Ottawa in the opening half.

First it was a kickoff return, then an electric punt return in which Dedmon shook off several would-be tacklers on his way to the endzone.

It was the first time in Ottawa football history (Redblacks, Renegades or Rough Riders) that a player had scored on two returns in a single game. That history dates back to the early days of the modern CFL in the late 1950s.

The Redblacks started the overtime frame with the football but were only able to produce a Lewis Ward field goal with the opportunity. Montreal assumed control on offence with the chance to match the score or win the game.

Ottawa needed a big-time play from their defence and they got just that.

Alouettes running back William Stanback caught a short pass over the middle and cut to go up field. He was met on each side however by converging Redblacks linebackers Avery Williams and Jerod Fernandez.

Fernandez stuck with the play and was able to rip the ball from Stanback’s hands. The ball fell to the turf and was recovered by Redblacks defensive back De’Andre Montgomery, ending the game for the Redblacks.

It was Ottawa’s third takeaway of the evening. The Redblacks defence was critical in securing the win Friday night, as was the team’s special teams unit.

Dedmon’s kick returns injected some much needed life (and points) into a team struggling to find its footing in the first half.

Turnovers set the Redblacks back early on. A Dominique Davis interception (off the hands of Julian Feoli-Gudino) helped setup a Montreal field goal. Then a Brad Sinopoli fumble led to a 13-yard Vernon Adams Jr. touchdown run. The score was 10-0 Alouettes early and it appeared the Redblacks losing ways would continue.

The Redblacks offence finally broke through however in the third quarter with a touchdown of their own. Following a Montreal turnover, Davis hit Brad Sinopoli on a five-yard touchdown score for the Canadian receiver’s second touchdown of the season.

Following the Sinopoli touchdown early in the third quarter, Montreal kicked four straight field goals, giving them a six-point cushion in the fourth quarter. Davis led confident back-to-back drives that ended in field goals to tie the game at 27 at the end of regulation.

There were positive moments, especially late, but few and far between once again for the Redblacks offence. Davis threw for only 164 yards passing, a touchdown and two interceptions, both to Montreal DB Ciante Evans. The offence as a whole put forth under 250 total yards and was on the field a full 13 minutes less than the Montreal offence.

Montreal quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. scored two rushing touchdowns before being pulled from the game with an apparent head injury. Backup Antonio Pipkin filled-in but completed less than 50% of his passes in his second-half relief performance. Neither Alouette quarterback was able to complete passes consistently.

The game had its ‘wow’ moments but sloppy play kept Ottawa and Montreal from making the most of their respective offensive opportunities. That included both teams’ receivers having a number of drops, which stalled drives for each offence.

Quick Notes:

  • The Redblacks have won seven straight games in Montreal
  • Lewis Ward’s historic field goal streak has now reached 67, including the OT game winner against the Alouettes
  • Redblacks receiver Noel Thomas had a nice outing, leading the team with five catches and 43 yards
  • After going 1/2 against Montreal, the Redblacks are now 5/8 on two-point conversion attempts this season

The Redblacks will travel to Edmonton for a battle with the Eskimos next Friday night. It will be the team’s first matchup with former Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris.