With only one matchup between the two teams on the schedule, all the bragging rights are on the line, tonight, when the Ottawa REDBLACKS take on the Calgary Stampeders in a 7:00pm EDT kickoff at TD Place.
The REDBLACKS are looking to bounce back after a 32-3 loss to the Ti-Cats, in Hamilton. Quarterback Caleb Evans, making his sixth straight start, has thrown for 933 yards on the year, needing only 67 more to break the 1000-yard plateau for the first time in his career. Rookie receiver Ryan Davis leads the team with 527 receiving yards, while newcomer Kenny Stafford has two touchdowns in five games since joining the REDBLACKS.
Ottawa has boasted a strong defence in 2021. Linebacker Avery Williams is third in the CFL in total tackles, with 67, despite missing a game to injury. Defensive back Randall Evans, and defensive lineman Praise Martin-Oguike are both tied for 10th in sacks, with four apiece, while Evans and linebacker Don Unamba are both tied for third in forced fumbles, each having two. Defensive back Abdul Kanneh, despite being limited to five games this season, is tied for second with three interceptions.
It will be a milestone day for the REDBLACKS, with running back Brendan Gillanders, and defensive lineman Cleyon Laing both suiting up in their 100th career CFL games.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Though 5-6 on the year, Calgary has won four of their last six games. The Stamps were last in action six days ago, falling by a score of 20-17 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 311 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off three times. Running back Ka’Deem Carey is second among CFL ballcarriers with 681 yards on the campaign, while receivers Kamar Jorden and Markeith Ambles are sixth and seventh in receiving yards, with 602 and 599 yards through the air, respectively.
Calgary’s defence has only given up 11 touchdowns on the year, and has caused problems for the opposition in 2021. Linebacker Darnell Sankey leads the CFL with 75 tackles, and defensive lineman Shawn Lemon is seventh with six sacks. Defensive back Brandon Dozier is third with 15 special teams tackles.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
R.J. Harris, receiver, on the team’s effort level despite their record: “Everybody comes out here, putting 100% effort in. This is our job, regardless of our record, regardless of what’s going on. If you’re not putting effort in, they’re gonna come in and they’ll try to replace you. So everybody knows, like we said, this is our job. We have to be out here every day, and put our best foot forward.”
Paul LaPolice, head coach, on matching up with the Stampeders: They’re a well-coached team. Watching them offensively, defensively, on special teams, I’m impressed. We’re excited for this matchup; to be able to go play these guys, in front of a home crowd. They’ve been on a roll lately.
Brendan Gillanders, running back, on playing his 100th career CFL game: “It’s something that’s special, to be honest. I mean, I kind of walked on to [the Toronto Argonauts] in 2014, and to be where I’m at right now, it’s…I don’t know. I’ve seen a lot of cool places, I’ve played with a lot of cool people, been coached by some amazing people. So yeah, it’s fun.
7:00 PM ET | TV (ENG): TSN/ESPN+
Radio: EN: 580 CFRA, SiriusXM (ch.167) | FR: 104,7 FM Outaouais
Tickets can be purchased HERE.