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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Redblacks give up 23 fourth-quarter factors, lose seventh in a row Specific Occasions

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Of all of the losses the Ottawa Redblacks have suffered of their decade-long historical past, none have harm greater than the kick within the intestine they took Saturday evening in Vancouver.

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None have been as sudden, and none, it feels, have been as avoidable.

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Up by 16 factors with three minutes left, the Redblacks surrendered three touchdowns in a crushing 41-37 defeat that every one however formally ends their slim hope of creating the playoffs.

How does a group blow a lead that huge in a few minutes, you ask?

It’s not simple.

First it was a six-yard TD cross from Vernon Adams Jr. to Justin McInnes. The 2-point conversion try failed, leaving the Redblacks with a 10-point lead.

Then, with 1:25 left, Redblacks kicker Lewis Ward was despatched out to strive a 50-yard area purpose when, in hindsight, a punt out of bounds deep into B.C. territory would have been the smarter determination.

After all, if Ward makes the try, the sport is basically over.

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As a substitute, he boots it large left, and Terry Williams returns the ball 120 yards for a landing.

“There’s nice returners in each league, and that’s a kick we’re usually going to make,” head coach Bob Dyce instructed TSN1200’s A.J. Jakubec, noting that Ward had linked on a pair of tries from 53 yards within the first quarter. “It’s regrettable that one didn’t make it by.”

The Redblacks offence, which had been so good within the third quarter, couldn’t transfer the ball within the fourth.

In consequence, the Lions regained possession with below 40 seconds left and marched downfield in opposition to a RedBlacks defence that had been so good for the primary three quarters.

Adams tossed a 16-yard strike to Fortunate Whitehead for the successful landing with 16 seconds remaining.

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The loss was the seventh in a row for the Redblacks (3-10), whereas the Lions (9-4) moved to inside two factors of the West Division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Redblacks began the sport understanding they’d fallen six factors behind the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Earlier on Saturday, Hamilton gained a share of second place within the East with a 29-23 residence upset win over the Blue Bombers.

And it very a lot seemed just like the Redblacks had been going to reply positively.

Now, with 5 video games left, the Redblacks must run the desk and hope for a whole collapse by both Montreal or Hamilton.

It’s not occurring, people.

“You noticed what they did, they flew throughout the entire of Canada right here, and fought till the top of the sport,” Dyce stated of his gamers. “These guys are males of nice character, in order that’s not the factor.

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“We have to appropriate the issues we’ve obtained to appropriate as coaches.”

Followers phoning the TSN1200 post-game present couldn’t agree extra.

Some referred to as for Dyce’s job, citing a lot of poor choices he has made all through this disappointing season.

The story on this evening ought to have been how Dustin Crum, the fourth-string quarterback of the group simply a few months in the past, turned in an exception efficiency in an upset victory.

Eight days after the embarrassment of failing to attain with three cracks from the one yard line with their short-yardage quarterback, the Redblacks got here up with an answer to that drawback in Vancouver — they simply saved the ball within the arms of Crum.

Crum scored three touchdowns — together with two within the third quarter — whereas additionally finishing 19 of 30 passes for 233 yards.

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If he was questioning the play choice within the fourth quarter, he wasn’t about to say so within the media.

“I’m all the time going to journey with what’s referred to as. I’m going to belief it,” Crum instructed TSN1200. “I feel we now have nice coaches that put collectively a terrific sport plan for us. We’ve simply obtained to execute it to one of the best of our means.”

With all due respect, it positive seemed like the sport plan was aborted within the closing quarter-hour.

Devonte Williams, who had 146 yards speeding within the Redblacks’ loss to Hamilton final week, had 10 carries for 63 yards earlier than the intermission.

He completed the evening with 18 carries for 66 yards.

Sure, as soon as once more, the Redblacks lacked a of completion.

“It’s how the CFL will be,” Crum stated on TSN1200 of the twists and turns this one took earlier than what has turn out to be an all-too-familiar ending. “But additionally it’s a tradition factor. We haven’t had a ton of wins in Ottawa the previous few years, and on this league you actually should learn to win, learn to play all 4 quarters and put a whole sport collectively, to have the ability to go on the highway and to win in opposition to good groups like B.C.”

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Regardless of having to accept a few area objectives off stalled drives, the Redblacks held a 16-15 lead on the half.

They fell behind when Sean Whyte linked with a 38-yard area purpose on the Lions’ opening drive of the third quarter, however then the Redblacks took management.

Crum mixed on key passes with Justin Hardy, who completed the evening as Ottawa’s prime receiver with eight catches for 114 yards, to maneuver the ball into Lions territory earlier than operating across the finish for a five-yard rating with seven minutes left within the third quarter.

Up 23-18, the Redblacks had one other spectacular drive on their subsequent possession, ending with a one-yard scoring plunge by Crum. One play earlier, Lions DB Marcus Sayles saved Ottawa receiver Shaq Evans out of the top zone with a rattling hit that knocked his helmet off.

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The Redblacks scored their third landing in a row solely moments later when Douglas Coleman intercepted an Adams cross on the Lions 50 and weaved his means into the top zone.

Sherrod Baltimore and Damon Webb additionally picked off Adams passes.

“On the finish of the day, explosive performs have harm us all 12 months and this week occurred to be on particular groups,” Dyce instructed TSN1200. “Clearly we now have to get a few first downs when we have to get first downs.

“The defence stood tall nearly all of the sport. Credit score to B.C. They’re an excellent group. Coach (Rick) Campbell does an excellent job with them. They made the performs once they needed to.”

dbrennan@postmedia.com

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