Ottawa Redblacks look to improve in Week 2 against Saskatchewan Roughriders

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Redblacks are confident things can only get better.

That being said, Ottawa has little to complain about after pulling off a 32-28 come-from-behind win against the defending champion Calgary Stampeders in its season opener. It was the Redblacks’ first win in Calgary since joining the league back in 2014 and it came in a Grey Cup rematch.

However, the Redblacks know they can improve as they prepare to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-1) on Thursday night.

Dominique Davis, making his debut as the Redblacks’ starting QB, had his share of struggles last week, but came through when it counted.

The 29-year-old was 29-for-44 for 276 passing yards and rushed for three touchdowns, but also set a franchise record with four interceptions.

“Definitely not the way I expected to play, but definitely did some things good enough for us to win the game,” said Davis. “Hats off to the defence and the special teams because they made big plays too shutting down Calgary in the second half.”

While most will focus on Davis’ four picks, what shouldn’t be overlooked was his ability to bounce back.

“That’s one of the best qualities Dom has is that he’s able to just shake things off and act like it never happened and get right back out there,” said receiver R.J. Harris, who had six catches for 82 yards. “That’s the kind of guy you want leading your team. He’s able to make a mistake and then the next time he’s leading an 80-yard drive. We have the utmost confidence in Dom the entire time.”

However, the Redblacks are looking for a stronger performance this week.

“I think we’re a really good football team and you prove that when you make mistakes and you still win,” said Brad Sinopoli, who had seven receptions for 75 yards. “I think guys understood that there was a lot that we left out there and a lot that we need to correct. We were happy, but we understood that we didn’t play nearly our best football.”

The Redblacks took 11 penalties for 113 yards against Calgary, which usually isn’t a recipe for success.

“I think we have room to grow,” said head coach Rick Campbell. “We need to keep learning and keep growing and be smart about things.”

Quarterback Cody Fajardo will get the start for the Roughriders, who dropped their opener 23-17 in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats. The Roughriders lost starting QB Zach Collaros last week after he was hit in the head by Hamilton’s Simoni Lawrence. Lawrence received a two-game suspension for the incident and Collaros has been placed on the six-game injured list.

The Redblacks will be facing a familiar foe as running back William Powell makes his return to Ottawa after signing as a free agent with Saskatchewan.

Powell said he’s excited for the game, but won’t treat it any differently.

With Collaros out, Powell could shoulder more of the offensive responsibilities.

“It’s big any week (to shut down the running game),” said Campbell. “They’ve got a good O-line and a good tailback and their quarterback can run, too.”

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS (0-1) AT OTTAWA REDBLACKS (1-0)

Thursday, TD Place

LAST YEAR: The Redblacks swept the season series last year against the Roughriders. It marks the second year in a row the Roughriders provide the opposition in Ottawa’s home opener.

ON THE RUN: Mossis Madu rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries last week and will likely be eager to prove the Redblacks made the right decision to make him their starting running back.

LINEUP SHUFFLE: The Redblacks made one change to their starting lineup for Thursday’s game as Danny Mason is in at defensive end to replace the injured J.R. Tavai.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Liberals table proposal for expanded Commons COVID-19 meetings, summer sittings

OTTAWA — The Liberals have tabled a proposal that would see expanded… Continue reading

Most Read