In a wild, shootout affair on Sunday night, the Ottawa REDBLACKS fell to the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field, but they’ll get another crack within the East Division in short order.
Ottawa hosts the Montreal Alouettes at TD Place, Saturday, in the first meeting since Week 1 for these East Division rivals. Dustin Crum is coming off of what may be the finest performance of his young career, thus far, tossing a trio of touchdowns as part of a 292-yard performance vs the Argos. Jaelon Acklin exploded for 157 receiving yards, and a touchdown, with Justin Hardy, and Jackson Bennett also hauling in majors.
Unfortunately for the REDBLACKS, they’ll be missing some playmakers on defence when they take on the Als. Brandin Dandridge, Frankie Griffin, Douglas Coleman, Justin Howell, and Gary Johnson are all out of the lineup due to injury, meaning it’ll be another night where young players need to step up for Ottawa.
The REDBLACKS will make a change on the offensive line, as well, with 2023 first-overall draft pick Dontae Bull slotting in at right tackle, and making his first career CFL start.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The absence of Cody Fajardo was no problem for Montreal, last week. Former REDBLACK Caleb Evans stepped in for the injured starter vs the Saskatchewan Roughriders, completing eight of 13 passing attempts for 149 yards and a touchdown. The game was won on the ground for Montreal, however, with Walter Fletcher rushing for 73 yards, Evans posting 66 and a pair of scores, and Jeshrun Antwi scampering for 47 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Ottawa’s young tackle will be tested early, in the form of fearsome Montreal pass rushers Shawn Lemon, and Avery Ellis, both of whom recorded sacks, last week.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
Dustin Crum, quarterback, on the offence’s progress throughout the season: “We’ve gotten better as a group, being able to see things the same way and have the same timing so you feel like there’s a comfort level – that’s continued to grow. It showed a bit last week and it’s something we have to continue to build.”
Lorenzo Mauldin, defensive lineman, on planning to bounce back as a defence: “We need to lock in on our individual assignments. When we do that and know what we’re doing individually instead of trying to do another man’s job or trying to make a play out of desperation, it opens up the defence for us. We see what we did wrong on film, it’s up to us to come out here and do it right.”
Bob Dyce, Head Coach, on the importance of the second half of the season: “We’ve talked about the number of games against Eastern teams we have left, as well as controlling our destiny. We can’t change what happened in the first nine games. We went (to Montreal) early in the year and it was a tight game. We have to make sure, playing in our stadium, we’re ready to go Saturday.”
7:00 PM ET | TV (ENG): TSN / TSN5 / RDS (French) / CBS SN / CFL+ | Radio: EN: TSN 1200, SiriusXM (ch. 167) | FR: 104,7 FM Outaouais