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More than half of the Ottawa REDBLACKS points came in the fourth quarter, staging a comeback in their pre-season finale to draw the Montreal Alouettes 20-20 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.
The tightly-contested ballgame was a form of deja-vu from last week’s contest in Ottawa, where the REDBLACKS also essentially played dead-even football and lost by just four points
It only took a minute for the Alouettes to strike. It came in the form of a 72-yard play from DeVier Posey – who received a pass from Montreal quarterback Antonio Pipkin and bolted away from the Ottawa defence up the right sideline. That made the score 7-0 at 13:57 of the first quarter.
Minutes later, the REDBLACKS then found themselves trailing 8-0 after they took possession of a missed field goal attempt by Montreal and took a knee in their end zone. They needed a break – and they got one moments later.
Will Arndt looked down field at 6:34 of the first quarter, and nearly found DeVonte Dedmon with a pass near the Alouettes end zone. But he was interfered with, and the 20-yard pass interference penalty but the REDBLACKS at first-and-goal.
Arndt then made no mistake, finishing on the first try with a QB sneak over top of the line of scrimmage. Since the REDBLACKS still trailed by two, they went for a two-point conversion, but Arndt’s pass was incomplete. So that left the score at 8-6.
Not much scoring occurred until the middle of the second quarter, when the teams broke out. With the score at 11-6 Montreal, Jose Maltos made a field goal for the second straight game to cut the Als lead down to three at 2:23 of the second. But unfortunately for Ottawa, the deficit was not cut for very long.
Right after the Maltos field goal, Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was placed into the game and made an immediate impact. He found Quan Bray for a 49-yard gain, and then the dynamic duo paired up again – Adams Jr. found Bray in the end zone for a 18-9 Als lead. That score remained the same until halftime.
Ottawa slowly began to chip away at the Als lead when the game resumed for the second half. With the score at 19-10 Montreal, Maltos knocked down his second field goal of the game at 8:45 of the fourth quarter to pull Ottawa within six points.
Then the REDBLACKS’ defence came up big at 7:59, allowing them to tie the game.
Shortly after the Alouettes inserted Jeff Matthews into the game, he was sacked by Randall Evans at Ottawa’s 49-yard line, forcing a fumble. That allowed veteran linebacker Jonathan Newsome to pick up the football and take it to the house.
The touchdown tied the game, and the extra point gave Ottawa their first lead of the ballgame at 20-19.
The see-saw battle continued in the dying moments of the contest, when Montreal tied the game at 20 after a dead ball was declared on a punt from Enrique Yenny Romero.
The REDBLACKS had a chance to win the game in the dying moments, but quarterback Danny Collins has two incomplete passes on the final drive. That gave the teams a draw, after a tightly contested game.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“I would love to take a lot of credit for it but was a perfectly called play and we executed it correctly. I just did exactly what the play told me to do and when you do the right thing, good things happen.” – Jonathan Newsome on the recovered fumble that he ran back for a touchdown.
“Both quarterbacks made some good plays tonight and that’s why we had a chance to win the game at the end.” -Rick Campbell
13-7 first downs in favour of redblacks during the first half, despite trailing 18-9 after the second quarter… quarterback statistics… Will Arndt: 184 yards in the first half, 69 per cent completion… Danny Collins: 127 yards, 60 per cent completion… neither quarterback had a touchdown pass, but Arndt scored one himself.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
MTL – Pipkin to Posey (Bede conv.) – 13:57
MTL – SAFE Bede (Dedmon) – 9:10
OTT – Arndt – 6:21
MTL – FG Bede – 10:15
OTT – FG Maltos – 2:23
MTL – Adams Jr. to Bray (Bede conv.) – 1:51
MTL – OOB Bede – 8:35
OTT – FG Maltos – 8:45
OTT – Newsome (Maltos conv.) – 7:59
MTL – OOB Yenny Romero – 3:00