The Ottawa Redblacks dropped their fourth straight game Thursday night after Calgary’s Rene Paredes kicked a 31-yard field goal to seal the Stampeders 17-16 victory and send 22,708 fans at TD Place home unhappy.
Late in the game, Ottawa were backed up to their own goal line after an earlier game-saving forced fumble by Corey Tindal. At this point, the Redblacks were up by four points, but elected to take a safety instead of having Richie Leone punt the ball out of the end zone, cutting their lead to two points and giving Calgary the opportunity to win the game with a field goal.
A 28-yard return by Terry Williams gave the Stamps solid starting position and seven plays later, Paredes would kick the game-winner.
After the game, Redblacks Head Coach Rick Campbell was asked why he decided to take the safety, considering his defense had already forced three turnovers and held the Stamps offense without a touchdown.
“I was debating on that one, I was thinking we’re going to have to defend about 30 yards of field position either way, punting out of our own end zone,” said Campbell. “I’m just trying to put the football team in the best chance to win.”
The blame can't solely be place on the coach's shoulders, Ottawa did not get enough offensively. They gained only 221 yards of total offense, had 13 first downs to Calgary’s 27 and only had the ball for 22:55.
“It’s hard to win games like this with the time of possession so slanted,” lamented Campbell. “and you have to be able to throw the ball in the CFL.”
Jonathon Jennings went 15 for 18 through the air for only 125 yards. He also threw two interceptions in the first half, although he did seem to settle into a rhythm late in the game.
“Just took us too long to get rolling,” said Jennings. “We started to get the ball out of our hands quicker and started to move a bit.”
He connected with receiver Brad Sinopoli in the fourth quarter for the games only touchdown, and the first Redblacks touchdown in eight quarters.
“You’re going to find adversity someway along the road in football and we're in it right now, and we just have to find a way, I thought it was a good fight.” said Sinopoli.
A good fight was put up by the defense. They forced three turnovers, all fumbles, recovered by Sherrod Baltimore, Avery Williams and Mike Klassen.
“Proud of our defense for getting turnovers but we can’t live off that because that’s not going to happen every week.” said Campbell.
Ottawa will head into their match-up with Montreal on August 2 looking to avoid its fifth straight loss.