After a long off-season which began in November of 2019 the Ottawa Redblacks hit the field once again and did so successfully.
Coming out of Edmonton’s Commonwealth stadium with a 16-12 victory it is clear that the Ottawa Redblacks’ defence and special teams unit are the franchise’s biggest assets moving forward this season. Matt Nichols completed just 12 passes for 71 yards while Flanders gained just 39 yards on the run, so the Redblacks’ offence still have some work to do, but when they return from the bye week next week and Nichols regains his health the offence did show some sparks of what they can do. Receivers Ryan Davis, RJ Harris, Nate and Jordan Smallwood each had catches and could, alongside Daniel Petermann and DeVonte Dedmon get a lot more catches later down the road.
The defence, and the whole team on Saturday night was led by defensive back Abdul Kanneh. Making tackle after tackle on the game’s winning drive, including the game winning stop at the goal line and even intercepting two of Trevor Harris’ passes, one for a touchdown Kanneh stood on his head and reminded R-Nation exactly why the Redblacks won the 2016 Grey Cup, because of Kanneh’s shoe string tackle on Andrew Buckley.
“Our main goal is to get the ball back to our offence.” Kanneh said after the game.
Defensive back Randall Evans also had an interception, Micah Awe and Avery Ellis each had sacks and so did Avery Williams, adding to his 14 tackles. Sherrod Baltimore made 8 tackles, shutting down Greg Ellingson on the side of the field with both Abdul Kanneh and Don Unamba too.
Another bright spot in week one for the Ottawa Redblacks came on special teams where we almost saw a punt return touchdown from Ryan Davis after a forward lateral from DeVonte Dedmon, but it was Dedmon who totalled for 160 yards on 11 kickoff and punt returns in Edmonton. Lewis Ward made his presence felt yet again as the Redblacks’ kicker, making two 50+ yard field goals and one 21 yarder.
This win came after a long off-season of doubt coming from the outside looking in, and even-though it may not have been a pretty win, it was a win and thats all that matters.
“This is Redblacks football. This is definitely Redblacks football.” Kanneh said in an exciting fashion after the big win and it is Redblacks football that all of the CFL should keep eyes on this 2021 CFL season as it will only improve from here on.
Ottawa will be on a bye week two and will then travel to play the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a week 3 battle. In the meantime, Antler Down!