The Ottawa REDBLACKS will look to close out their 2021 home schedule on the right note, Saturday, when they take on the Toronto Argonauts at TD Place. Kickoff is set for 4:00pm EDT, for Ottawa’s annual Fan Appreciation Game.
It was a hard-fought defeat for the REDBLACKS last week, dropping a 26-13 decision to the Calgary Stampeders. Quarterback Caleb Evans connected with receiver Kenny Stafford for a touchdown, and kicker Lewis Ward converted on two field goal tries in the effort. Defensively, linebacker Avery Williams tallied eight tackles, and a forced fumble that he also recovered.
Against the Argos, REDBLACKS quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges will make his first career CFL start, after signing with the team on September 16. He has thrown eight completions for 49 yards on 16 attempts this season, serving in a backup capacity to Evans.
Looking to next season, the REDBLACKS also locked in three key special teams performers, this week, signing returner DeVonte Dedmon, punter Richie Leone, and kicker Lewis Ward to contract extensions.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Toronto currently leads the East Division, with a record of 7-4, most recently earning a thrilling 31-29 overtime win against the BC Lions, a week ago. Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 155 yards, hooking up with receiver DaVaris Daniels for a touchdown, while also being intercepted once. Backup quarterback Antonio Pipkin also rushed for a three-yard touchdown, while kicker Boris Bede racked up 16 points, including the winning field goal in the overtime period.
On the defensive side of the ball, Toronto was led by their secondary; in Dexter McCoil’s five tackles, and Jeff Richards’ sack of Lions pivot Michael Reilly.
The Argos and REDBLACKS last faced off on October 6, with Toronto riding a 27-point third quarter to a 35-16 win at BMO Field.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Paul LaPolice, head coach, on giving Hodges his first career CFL start: “He’s had enough reps in practice. He’s got some tools that are impressive, so we want to give him an opportunity to see if we can generate more offensively, and put ourselves in a position to win.”
Devlin Hodges, quarterback, on his emotions going into his first start: “Just a lot of excitement. I mean, this is a great group of guys, great teammates, great coaches. It’s weird not knowing if you’re gonna play, and now that I know I’m gonna play, it’s just it’s a lot of excitement. I’m ready to get out there.”
Bob Dyce, special teams coordinator, on retaining Dedmon, Leone, and Ward for 2022: “I think it’s good to see three guys who’ve performed at a very high level over the last couple years get rewarded for their excellent performances. We’ve obviously got a very tight group, and it’s good to see that the organization recognizes and how valuable they are to the team. All three of them are extremely hard working guys, who put the team before themselves. They all are extremely dedicated to their crafts and they’re all a pleasure to coach.”
4:00 PM ET | TV (ENG): TSN/ESPN+ | TV (FR): RDS2
Radio: EN: 580 CFRA, SiriusXM (ch.167) | FR: 104,7 FM Outaouais
Tickets: Tickets for this afternoon’s game are still available and can be purchased here.