Redblacks Score Late to Outlast Manziel’s Alouettes

Photo credit: The Canadian Press

These Redblacks seem to have a flair for the dramatic. For the fourth straight game, their matchup came down to the very last drive. This time, William Powell’s 10-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds remaining helped Ottawa defeat the Montreal Alouettes 24-17.

“It’s a big win. I never take winning for granted. It was one of those game that was going back-and-forth,” said Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell.

Trevor Harris was brilliant in the victory, completing 44/54 passes for 487 yards and leading the Ottawa offense to 13 unanswered fourth-quarter points. His 44 completions tie him for the second most in a single game in CFL history.

“To me, he is the best quarterback in this league. I am very confident in him,” said William Powell. “As long as we can keep him up-right, we’ll be clicking.”

The crowd was raucous for the Redblacks’ matchup with headline-grabbing rookie Johnny Manziel.

Manziel had a disastrous CFL debut last week, throwing four interceptions in the 50-11 thumping at the hands of the Ti-Cats. He took care of the football this time around however. Manziel finished 16/26 for 168 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Despite the result, the former Heisman Trophy winner stayed positive following the loss.

“Anything is better than last week,” said Manziel. “This is what I anticipated from our guys. I told them no matter what, we put ourselves in a good position to win this game.”

Harris spread the ball around, helping six Redblacks receivers finish with more than 50 yards receiving. Greg Ellingson had his first 100+ yard game since the season-opener, RJ Harris caught his first career CFL touchdown and Dominic Rhymes posted a breakout performance. Rhymes only had one catch on the season coming into the game but finished with seven receptions for 77 yards.

Powell added 104 rushing yards and the Redblacks totaled 601 yards of offense.

“I feel like the pass game was clicking really well, so that opened up the run game late in the game. As long as the pass game is there, I feel like the run game will be there,” said Powell. “We just have to depend on each other and keep grinding.”

The lone blemish on the Ottawa quarterback’s night is the second quarter interception thrown to the Alouettes’ Chris Ackie, who then returned it for a Montreal touchdown. Turnovers were a problem all nightlong for Ottawa. The Redblacks turned the ball over five times. It is the only the third time this CFL season that a team has lost the turnover battle but won the game.

“I view us as a 5-3 team that has work to do,” said Campbell. “Taking care of the football is key, and we’ll work on it.”

Ottawa had a bad taste in its mouth from last week’s 24-point collapse against the Argonauts. Powell says they have put the loss behind them.

“It feels great to come back from adversity and play well at the end of the game,” said Powell.  

Lewis Ward hit on all three of his field goals, extending his streak to 22 straight makes. Ward now owns the all-time CFL rookie record for consecutive field goals made. Ottawa has still yet to lose two games in a row this season. They currently sit at 5-3 and in first place of the East Division.

The Redblacks will make their lone trip to Winnipeg next Friday night to play the Blue Bombers.