Former Redblacks light it up in Grey Cup Playoffs

On November 10th, the 2019 Grey Cup Playoffs had begun. To begin, the bracket gave both Saskatchewan and Hamilton bye weeks as they would be playing the winners of the Semi-Final round.

In the semi-final round, we saw Winnipeg and Calgary fight it out in the west, while Edmonton crossed over to the east to play Montreal and both games brought light to former Redblack players.

East Semi-Final

To start up the CFL playoffs was the 12:00 game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes. In this game, Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson, Josh Johnson, Sir Vincent Rogers, Travon Van, Jamill Smith and Mike Moore would all face-off against both Chris Ackie and Jeremiah Johnson.

Between the former Redblacks players, a turning point to the game had been made. Before the game, everyone’s eyes were on the East’s Montreal Alouettes and star quarterback Vernon Adams. Early in the game, Former Redblacks quarterback, Trevor Harris completed 22 consecutive passes which set up for another phenomenal playoff outing. Coming back from the playoffs last season, where he threw for 6 touchdown passes in the East-Final, Harris was back firing the ball again for over 400 yards on 36 completions, while just 3 passes fell incomplete.

One more former Redblack who made change on the Eskimos offense was receiver Greg Ellingson, who rests as Harris’ top target. Ellingson caught 8 of 9 targets for 125 yards which would bring him back to previous playoff match ups from his time in Ottawa, catching the ball for over 100 yards in 3 playoff games in Ottawa which add to his totals with a total of 50 playoff catches for 915 yards and 4 touchdowns. If Harris wants to go further in the playoffs, his best bet is to throw it his way!

Although it may seem lie the offense does all the work, it is not true, as the Eskimos kick return game is what set up all of these big plays by Trevor Harris and company.

Former Redblacks receiver and Returner Jamill Smith who was signed by Edmonton earlier in the week returned 9 punt and kick returns for a grand total of 165 yards including a 27 yard kickoff return which was his longest on the day.

On the defensive side of the ball in Edmonton, three turnovers were a big turning point to the semi final game. All three were forced by former Redblacks’ corner back Josh Johnson who tallied up 3 interceptions over the weekend.

As a finalization to the east semi final, the Edmonton Eskimos would move on to Hamilton after beating Montreal 37-29.

West Semi-Final

Over 24,000 fans came to watch the Winnipeg Blue-Bombers and Calgary Stampeders face-off in Calgary on Sunday, and for the Blue-Bomber fans making the trip down, it was much worth it!

Within the two teams, there were just a few former Redblacks players making starts, but the ones that did made some plays.

Between the two rosters, it was just Nick Taylor and Adam Berger from the Redblacks history making their appearances, and one of which played a big part to the West Semi-Finals.

Later in the game, when Calgary was looking to get back into the game, all their hope was denied by what was Bo Levi Mitchell’s 3rd interception of the game intercepted by former Redblacks halfback, Nick Taylor. To pair with his interception, Taylor also recovered a kickoff for 15 additional yards.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Nick Taylor (25) intercepts the pass intended for Montreal Alouettes’ Quan Bray (4) during the second half of CFL action in Winnipeg, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

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