Ottawa 29 Calgary 26
OTTAWA — Delbert Alvarado couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.
In a matter of minutes the Redblacks kicker experienced an amazing shift of emotions.
The 26 year old proved to be the hero Friday night, kicking a 34-yard field goal to lead Ottawa to a 29-26 overtime victory over the Calgary Stampeders in front of 23,018 fans.
Alvarado could have just as easily walked away with his head between his knees after missing a 32-yard field goal late in regulation with the game tied 26-26, but the young kicker was given a second opportunity and he made the most of it.
“It’s not easy,” said Alvarado. “You feel like you let your teammates down in that moment, but to have a second opportunity you just want to reward (your teammates) and they deserve it so you want to make sure all their hard work and effort gets rewarded when it’s all said and done.”
The Redblacks improved to 3-2 while the Stampeders dropped their second of the season for an identical record.
The win not only allowed Ottawa to snap a two-game losing streak, but will allow the team to head into a bye week feeling positive about their game.
“It’s good that we went out there and got a victory,” said QB Henry Burris. “It will give us a big momentum swing going into August.
“There’s still a lot of work we have to do to get better, but it was good to see us take the huge step forward offensively.”
Burris finished the night 28-for-43 and 389 yards and three touchdowns, while Bo Levi Mitchell was 23-for-41 and 318 yards and one TD for Calgary.
“You’ve got to give credit to Ottawa, they played hard all night coming back after two losses,” said Mitchell. “We’ve got to be better, especially me. End of the game, you can’t let that happen.”
What happened was Mitchell was hit in overtime and fumbled the ball, allowing Ottawa to get into scoring position with the game on the line.
“Turnovers usually do have a big factor in wins and losses,” said Stampeders coach John Hufnagel.
The Redblacks trailed all night until Chris Williams was able to run in an 84-yard touchdown pass to give Ottawa a 26-23 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Calgary tied the game on a 49-yard field goal and then Alvarado missed the field goal to avoid overtime.
After scoring 19 points in the first half, Calgary was held to just seven in the second as it picked up two field goals and a single.
In comparison the Redblacks seemed to find their momentum in the second half and were able to make the most of their opportunities.
With Calgary leading 22-17 Alvarado hit a 43-yard field goal, but a single by the Stampeders made it a three-point game after three quarters.
The Redblacks trailed 19-17 at the half.
The Stampeders got the lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Eric Rogers and a two-point conversion and Rene Paredes added a 42-yard field goal to put Calgary ahead 11-0.
For the first time this season the Redblacks were able to score in the opening 15 minutes as Ernest Jackson pulled in a 23-yard touchdown pass. Jeremiah Johnson had the two-point conversion to make it an 11-8 game.
Penalty trouble by the Redblacks allowed the Stampeders to get into scoring position and Jon Cornish picked up his third touchdown of the season. A two-point conversion gave Calgary a 19-8 lead.
An Aston Whiteside sack gave the Redblacks control on Calgary’s 23, but penalties forced the Redblacks to settle for a 25-yard field goal.
The Redblacks nearly tied the game after Burris connected with Greg Ellingson for a six-yard TD. Looking to even the score, Ottawa went for the two-point conversion and despite having two attempts was unsuccessful.
Notes: Calgary’s Jon Cornish suffered a broken thumb and is expected to be out indefinitely.