ON THE WIRE: Ottawa Redblacks hope to build momentum in home game against Als

Content of the article

Just four days after an audacious 24-18 win in Montreal, the Ottawa Redblacks are looking to bring the emotion and excitement to a Friday night rematch.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The game takes place at home, at TD Place, where the Reds and Blacks have a long run of not good enough. With several new starters in the lineup on Friday, the Redblacks will be looking to snap a 10-game losing streak at home (they are 1-21 since the 2019 season). For Ottawa, with new faces in important roles, the hope is to establish more of the same from Monday’s victory.

Content of the article

Content of the article

« You want to keep building on things, » said Bob Dyce, who took over as Redblacks head coach when Paul LaPolice was fired nearly two weeks ago. « You can’t tell because you beat them before you beat them again. But it certainly builds confidence.

With a 4-11 record, the Rouge et Noir are two wins behind Saskatchewan (6-10) and one behind Hamilton (5-10). Whatever happens on Friday will come down to the last two weeks of the regular season (Ottawa plays twice against the Tiger-Cats).

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

« It’s going down to the wire in both the East and the West, » Dyce said. “We’re focused on our future in this game against Montreal, that’s all we can control. But the race is crazy, there are still a lot of teams in it.

« We’re pretty lucky to still have something to defend, » said Antoine Pruneau, listed as a backup at linebacker SAM. « If we can get there, we can be a really good team in the playoffs. »

Of note, the Redblacks will be without receiver Jaelon Acklin (replaced by Siaosi Mariner), returner DeVonte Dedmon (replaced by Ryan Davis), linebacker SAM Patrick Levels (replaced by Douglas Coleman), defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike (replaced by Bryce Carter), running back William Powell (replaced by Jackson Bennett), and offensive lineman Dino Boyd (replaced by Randy Richards).

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

« I see it as six or seven guys having an opportunity, » Dyce said. “In life, when you have opportunities, you really want to make sure you take them because you don’t know how many more you’re going to get. I guess you could consider this a challenge. I think the only challenge is really the fact that they haven’t had as many reps as they normally would. I see it as a positive and an opportunity for some guys to solidify their place in this team.

Asked about his team battling injuries, Bennett said: “You’re guaranteed to have some kind of adversity in life. You always have to be ready with a plan B.”

Making his CFL debut, the Mariner, 25, scored 10 touchdowns during his senior college football season at Utah State, where he was the favorite target of first-round NFL draft pick Jordan Love (Green Bay Packers). He is also quite familiar with Redblacks quarterback Nick Arbuckle; they share the same agent, Rob Fry, who hooked them up off-season. Arbuckle and Mariner were among a group of players who met regularly to practice before the start of the CFL season.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

« Siaosi is probably the guy I’ve thrown the most of anyone on this team in the last year, » Arbuckle said. “We launched several times a week for about three months. He’s a complete playmaker, he’s a big guy, he has pretty good speed, he runs good runs and he catches the ball. He’s a smart guy who does whatever you want. He’s a great teammate who has a lot of energy in the huddle and on the field. I can’t wait to see what he does there in the spotlight.

On Monday, Arbuckle completed 28 of 32 passes (for 229 yards), but 23 of them were for 10 yards or less. When Dedmon and Acklin went down, the Redblacks were forced to adapt. There was a lot of communication between Arbuckle, quarterbacks coach Will Arndt (who called offensive plays) and receivers coach Alex Suber as they simplified and adapted the playbook to the players still available. .

Advertising 6

Content of the article

« We didn’t have a lot of attacking plays in the first half and in the second half we didn’t have Dedman and Acklin, » Arbuckle said. “We only had four healthy receivers (and tight end Marco Dubois) on the field. We changed a lot of what we were going to do. We crossed out probably about three quarters of our game plan by the time we lost Acklin (at the start of the) third quarter. We were just making stuff up on the sidelines and in the huddle, trying to figure out what we could do with the staff we had on the pitch. We found a way to adapt to what was going on – both what the defense was giving us, but also what we had to work with because of all the injuries.

THE END AROUND: The Redblacks are hosting their annual Purolator Tackle Hunger food drive on Friday. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to the game. Inflation is pushing use of the Ottawa Food Bank to record highs. The food bank provides food for more than 100 emergency food programs across the city… The Rougenoirs will launch four American receivers… The Alouettes also have major injuries: center Sean Jamieson and receiver Reggie White Jr., both injured (knee) in Monday’s game, are out for the season… The Redblacks’ chances of qualifying for the playoffs have risen to 18.23%, according to the CFL Simulator. East Division rival Hamilton is quoted at 48.72%. The odds of Ottawa winning the Gray Cup are 0.04%, Hamilton 0.36%, Montreal 0.75% and Toronto 21.06%. Winnipeg, the two-time defending champion, is at 47.33%… Only one (Pat Steinberg) of CFL.ca’s six editors chooses the Rouge et Noir to beat the Alouettes.

  1. Rookie wide receiver Siaosi Mariner will get his first start for the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday against Montreal.

    It’s time to step up a gear: With major Redblacks including Dedmon and Acklin, it’s up to newcomers to decide.

  2. Ottawa Senators' Brady Tkachuk, left, goaltender Anton Forsberg and Claude Giroux celebrate after a pre-season win. The addition of Giroux will help the Senators in all aspects of the game, writes Bruce Garrioch.

    GARRIOCH: Some storylines to watch as Ottawa Senators open season

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button