Unlucky Number Seven: Redblacks Drop Close Game to Eskimos for Seventh Straight Loss

The Ottawa Redblacks looked better than they had in weeks but the result remained the same. Despite putting up a fight, Ottawa lost at home to the visiting Edmonton Eskimos 21-16 for the Redblacks’ seventh consecutive loss. Ottawa has not won at TD Place since June 20th, a disheartening stretch of defeat that started all the way back in week two of the CFL season.

Both teams entered the game on losing streaks. Edmonton, having lost four straight, gets a much-needed victory and are now on the verge of clinching a trip to the postseason. The Redblacks on the other hand, are a loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2014.

With 4:16 remaining, the game was tied at 14-14. Edmonton drove the ball down into Ottawa territory with a chance to take the lead, which they did but not without controversy.

Eskimo receiver Tevaun Smith jumped for an incredible catch over two Redblacks defenders in the endzone but appeared to lose his grip on the ball as he fell to the ground. The CFL command centre took a look at the call but determined that it was a reception and a touchdown for Edmonton. It was a head-scratching verdict for fans in the crowd and at home.

The Redblacks had an opportunity to tie the game on their final offensive possession. On a third and 12 at the Edmonton 31-yard line, running back Mossis Madu caught a pass and turned up field in a sprint for the first down. Madu was tackled a half yard short of the sticks and the Eskimos were able to take over possession of the ball and the run the clock out.

With a long stretch of poor play, Ottawa employed an unconventional approach for their offence against Edmonton.

Instead of choosing between Dominique Davis and Jonathon Jennings, who have both spent time as the Redblacks’ starting quarterback this season, Ottawa decided that both quarterbacks would alternate drives under centre. It is not a strategy you see often in football. 

Jennings only threw one incompletion but attempted just eight passes. Davis received the bulk of the work, completing 15 passes for 215 yards. Davis also scored Ottawa’s only touchdown of the game on a one-yard quarterback sneak.

On the other sideline, the Eskimos were without starting quarterback and former Redblack Trevor Harris. Logan Kilgore lead the offence instead, putting forth an efficient performance en route to just his second career victory as a starter in the CFL.

Kilgore and the Edmonton offence leaned heavily on running back CJ Gable, who took 20 carries for 90 yards rushing, as well as their defence. The Eskimos defence racked up six sacks against the Redblacks and forced 10 punts.

The run game for the Redblacks was a non-factor. Mossis Madu received 13 carries for just 25 yards, an average of 1.9 yard per rush. 

Quick Notes:

  • In a bizarre move, Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell called a timeout at the three-minute warning, when the game clock is already stopped by rule

  • Redblacks leading receiver Dominique Rhymes notched over 100 yards through the air for the fourth time this season. The deep threat is now on the verge of his first 1000-yard season as a pro.

  • D-lineman JR Tavai continues to impress for the Redblacks. He now has five sacks on the season

The Redblacks are off next week for their final bye of the season before heading to Toronto to battle the Argonauts Thanksgiving weekend.