14 juin 2024

Le rouge et noir font tomber les Blue Bombers sous la pluie

The Ottawa REDBLACKS battled the Winnipeg Blue Bombers – and the weather – in their home opener on Thursday night, snatching a 23-19 win.

Determined to start fast against a talented Bombers side, the REBDLACKS led a long drive in their first possession, working their way all the way down inside the Winnipeg 10. The drive stalled out, unfortunately, and Ottawa settled for three.

It didn’t take long for the next opportunity to present itself. Two drives later, DeVonte Dedmon granted the home side excellent field position at the Bombers’ 14-yard line, and a handful of plays later, Dustin Crum pushed his way forward to score on the quarterback sneak, extending the REDBLACKS’ lead to 10.

A second Lewis Ward field goal put the REDBLACKS up 13, but the Bombers answered back before the half. Sergio Castillo drilled a long field goal from 45 yards out, and with the time winding down before halftime, the Bombers hit paydirt, as Johnny Augustine scored his second touchdown of the season.

With a little over two minutes on the clock, the REDBLACKS’ offence put their work boots on, picking up chunks of yardage all the way down to the 28, where Ward booted his third field goal of the night through the uprights to give Ottawa a six-point lead at the break.

Out of the half, the Bombers continued their streak, cashing yet another short-yardage touchdown late in the third quarter.

Now down on the scoreboard, the REDBLACKS attitude never faltered, and they continued working to move the ball, and play stout defence. Toward the end of the third, Dru Brown tossed an easy pass to Justin Hardy in the endzone, marking his first TD pass in his new colours.

The weather only continued to worsen for the rest of the night, with lightning strikes approaching TD Place. The Blue Bombers were on the move in the final stages of the fourth, the game was placed in a weather delay.

The delay only prolonged the REDBLACKS’ win, and the defence came up with a pair of massive stops, including a giant pass knockdown from defensive back Damon Webb at the goal line. When the ball hit the ground on Zach Collaros’ Hail Mary attempt, the REDBLACKS celebrated their 23-19 win, moving them to 1-0.

“All three phases had their moments,” said Head Coach Bob Dyce. “We played complementary football, we worked together. It was great to see, because to win consistently in this league, that’s how you have to play.”

For Brown, it was the first win with his new side, and an important step in what the REDBLACKS hope will be a big season.

“I’m going to enjoy this tonight, and then I’ll be extremely critical of myself tomorrow,” Brown said. “I will continue to get better. I haven’t watched the game yet, obviously, but we’ll have good conversations and get back to work tomorrow.”