It was a beautiful evening for football. Tailor made really.
It was the Season and Home Opener for the Ottawa REDBLACKS with Saskatchewan in town last night (Thursday, June 21st).
There was last years crucial loss to the Roughriders in last years Eastern Semi-Final (with the crossover) last Fall, and then there was some old fashion trash talking going on from the green-visitors side of the field.
Duron Carter doesn’t ever stop talking, but even the usually quiet Jerome Messam even got into the action.
It made that beautiful Trevor Harris – Diontae Spencer hook up even sweeter. That throw was a beauty; on a rope, and it essentially wrapped that game up, an impressive 40-17 victory.
The game was an announced sell out (24,224) although I could see some empty seats in the upper corners of the North Side, the crowd, as usual, was loud and enthusiastic.
One noticeable change; The Lumberjacks have been moved to the NE corner, in the end zone, near Gate 4.
The new Subaru Log Cabin section has taken over where they used to preside, presumably to make more room for that VIP/game experience in that new section on the Bank Street side.
I was pleasantly surprised to be joined in the Press Box this year by the lovely Heather Ray.
Heather was only so happy to borough my field glasses for a look at some players………(you finish the rhyme)
Former Renegades and Roughrider GM Dan Rambo sat to my right, as he did last season.
But that was a great football game last night. I think the REDBLACKS looked as good as I’ve seen them. So many players played a fantastic game.
William Powell was electric. The D and O Lines, really good.
Saskatchewan’s starter, Zach Colleros, was knocked out of the game in the 1st Quarter. Canadian stud Brandon Bridge took over.
A couple of other game notes;
*The late Jonathan Pitre’s mother, Tina Boileau was introduced to the crowd, in between plays, during the game and got a rousing standing ovation from the Ottawa crowd in what was a very touching couple of minutes.
*I still don’t understand Rider Coach Chris Jones and him keeping his best offensive weapon, Duron Carter on Defense. Carter can be neutralized on D, but certainly not on offense. He is the teams best offensive weapon and possibly the best player in the CFL.
*The REDBLACKS O-Line was very effective considering that they were two regulars down (Lauzon-Seguin and Nolan MacMillan) and had started a rookie (First Round Pick Mark Korte) and sophomore (Evan Johnson) against CFL All-Stars Charleston Hughes and Willie Jefferson.
*a tough night to pick a REDBLACK MVP, so many choices. Trevor Harris, Brad Sinopoli, Diontae Spencer, Lou Purifoy, Rico Murray, Jonathan Rose, Mike Wakefield all deserve recognition, but I think it was the aforementioned William Powell that kept his team ever-dangerous.
A very entertaining game. The Redblacks are 1-0 and the Roughriders 1-1.
Next up; Off to Calgary for Thursday night. Always tough
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