With shocking suddenness, the Roughriders gassed a 12-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes and wound up lamenting Friday’s 33-32 CFL loss to the visiting Ottawa Redblacks.
“Got to give Ottawa credit, they came here and did to us and what we went out there and did to them: coming back in the second half and winning by one”, Glenn said. “Trevor moved around in the pocket a little bit to buy himself some time and he found a spot that was open and they made the play”.
Why not run the ball on first down from the six-yard line?
“If we score touchdowns, that game was a different story”, said a resigned Kevin Glenn after the game Friday night. Ottawa’s last regular-season game, after a bye week, will be at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on October 27. Still, though, the Redblacks prevailed.
On a chilly night with temperatures dipping to -5C, the Redblacks played without Brad Sinopoli, who has 1,009 receiving yards this season. His right shoulder has been bothering him and it seemed to flare up during Wednesday’s practice in Saskatoon.
The Riders went up 16-3 with too much time life and Ottawa marched down the field for their own touchdown to bring the game within six heading into halftime.
The Roughriders instead settled for six rudimentary field goals, and were ultimately left kicking themselves.
In Ottawa on September 29, Saskatchewan’s defence was impenetrable with the game on the line – albeit against a third-string quarterback, Ryan Lindley – and the visitors left TD Place with a 17-16 victory. The subsequent Maher convert gave the REDBLACKS their first lead – 20-19 – of the night.
Catches by fullback Spencer Moore and receiver Duron Carter moved the Riders down the field and a pass interference call put the Riders in the red zone, however, Glenn was intercepted in the end zone by Jonathan Rose to end the drive.
That held the Roughriders off only temporarily, though.
The Redblacks took the lead in the game exactly once before winning in with two seconds left on the clock.
Diontae Spencer had a 12-yard touchdown as the Redblacks cut into the Riders’ lead at 12:24 of the second quarter. Maher’s convert sent the squads to the room with the green men up 16-10.
The Redblacks tied the game 3-3 at 10:09 of the first quarter when Brett Maher booted a 38-yard field goal.
Maher’s convert gave Ottawa a 20-19 lead at 7:12 of the third quarter. Following Crapigna’s convert and a later field goal, Ottawa trailed 32-20.
A 45-yard catch by Carter took them into Redblacks territory on their next drive. Rather than settle for a 21-yard field goal, the hosts gambled on third-and-two and converted when Trent Richardson took the snap and fought for the necessary yardage. Glenn proceeded to throw back-to-back incompletions – although Caleb Holley should have caught the first one for six points. Ottawa’s defense played as significant of a role on Saskatchewan’s next possession.
Saskatchewan had a first down on its final possession, but then had to punt.
Those conversions helped get the Redblacks to the Riders nine-yard line where Riders defensive back Ed Gainey almost intercepted Harris, but instead, the team was penalized for pass interference putting the ball on the one-yard line.
“It’s a good feeling”, Harris said.”I finally get to play in a playoff game if I can stay healthy”.
Roughriders defensive lineman A.C. Leonard puts pressure on Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris during the first half at Regina on Friday night.