In a suspense-filled showdown that teetered on a knife-edge until the final whistle, the Ottawa REDBLACKS clawed their way to a thrilling 43-41 overtime victory over the Calgary Stampeders.
The fierce battle saw the lead switch hands multiple times before culminating in an overtime decider, marking the REDBLACKS’ first win on Calgary soil since 2019. Quarterback Dustin Crum led the charge for Ottawa, orchestrating a stellar performance with 257 passing yards, two touchdown throws, and 63 rushing yards.
The REDBLACKS’ offense ran like a well-oiled machine, with Crum, in particular, putting up noteworthy numbers. He completed 23 of his 29 attempted passes, throwing for two touchdowns without any interceptions. On the ground, he was a versatile threat, picking up 63 yards on nine carries.
His prime targets in the air were wide receivers Nate Behar and Justin Hardy, who clocked 78 and 94 receiving yards respectively. Behar’s vital fourth-quarter score and successful two-point conversion in overtime were critical in sealing the victory for Ottawa.
On the ground, running back Devonte Williams provided valuable support with 57 yards on 10 attempts. Meanwhile, Ante Milanovic-Litre made a notable contribution with 35 rushing yards, including two crucial touchdowns.
The REDBLACKS’ defense also pulled their weight, with Damon Webb leading the charge with seven tackles and a sack. The Ottawa secondary showed their skills with interceptions by Brandin Dandridge and Alonzo Addae, contributing to the hard-fought victory.
Despite the loss, the Stampeders put up a fierce fight. QB Jake Maier set a career record with an astonishing 450 passing yards, throwing four touchdowns and two interceptions. His key receivers were Marken Michel, who hauled in four passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Tre Odoms-Dukes, who added 101 yards and a touchdown to the mix.
The running game, however, couldn’t match the air attack’s production. Dedrick Mills led the ground game with 21 yards on six attempts, while QB Maier chipped in with 10 yards on three carries.
Defensively, Calgary was spearheaded by T. Wall, who racked up 11 tackles, while Cameron Judge and Julian Howsare each posted six tackles and a quarterback sack. Despite their best efforts, the defense couldn’t keep the REDBLACKS at bay in the crucial moments of the game.
The victory gives the REDBLACKS a much-needed boost as they prepare to host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 8 at TD Place Stadium. The Stampeders, on the other hand, will be looking to bounce back when they face the Montreal Alouettes at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium.
Both teams will need to reflect on this thrilling encounter as they strategize for the battles ahead. This game serves as a reminder of the thrilling unpredictability of the CFL, where every snap matters and anything can happen once the pigskin is in the air.
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