The Ottawa REDBLACKS enjoyed game day for the first time in over six months in front of an energized RNation Thursday night at TD Place. Despite taking a lead into halftime the REDBLACKS had to overturn a 29-20 deficit to claim the 30-29 victory thanks to late field goal from Ray Early.
“We had a lot of new guys on the field in the fourth quarter that made some play that won the game for us so good on them for doing that,” said head coach Rick Campbell following the game. “Our first group of guys both on offence and defence wanted to come out and show what they can do and they did look good early and we were virtually penalty free so those things were pretty encouraging.”
Ottawa opened the scoring inside the opening three minutes when Trevor Harris found Juron Criner for the 17-yard score and a Josh Stangby convert paced the REDBLACKS to the early 8-0 lead. Ray Early made a field goal to spot Ottawa to an 11-point lead before Jeremiah Masoli capped off a Ticats drive finding Ross Scheuerman as the visitors got on the scored board and completed a two-point convert of their own.
Zack Medeiros also brought his kicking boots Thursday night and made back-to-back field goals to return the REDBLACKS lead to 11-points with a 17-8 lead. An Everett Golson touchdown for Hamilton and a successful convert reduced the lead to two-points as Ottawa held a 17-15 lead at the break.
Following an early safety that pulled the Ticats within a point, Medeiros made his third field goal of the game to put Ottawa ahead 20-16. Golson was at it for Hamilton again late in the third quarter helping the Tiger-Cats claw back to take their first lead of the night as they went into the fourth quarter ahead 22-20. Cody Keith’s touchdown early in the fourth quarter put Hamilton up 29-20 with a little over 11-minutes to play.
A strong fourth quarter from Ryan Lindley help spur the REDBLACKS comeback. Lindley found Shakir Bell deep in the end zone for the 8-yard score and with a successful convert from Early, Ottawa pulled themselves within two. Early struck again with his second field goal of the night with just over a minute remaining to claim the 30-29 lead and the victory for Ottawa in front of 23,000+ at TD Place.
The REDBLACKS return to action next Thursday when they visit the Montreal Alouettes at Percival-Molson Stadium in their final test ahead of their home opener June 23 at TD Place in a Grey Cup rematch against the Calgary Stampeders. Tickets for that match-up are available by clicking here, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.