Riders complete unlikely comeback to shock Redblacks

A rouge left the Ottawa Redblacks red in the face Friday night

Josh Bartel kicked a 41-yard punt single with just over two minutes to play as the Saskatchewan Roughriders rallied past the Redblacks 18-17 on Friday.

Bartel’s game-winning point completed an 18-point comeback by Saskatchewan. The win came despite the fact that William Powell set a new Redblacks’ record for rushing yards in a single game. Jonathan Williams set the mark of 180 yards in 2014. Powell broke it late in the third quarter, finishing the game with 187 yards.

“I’m feeling great, the O-line is doing great and we just have to try to get a win,” said Powell. “Everything was clicking and we were doing what we had focus on doing. We wanted to come in and establish the run, and I felt like we did that. Some mistakes at the end of the game though.”

Ottawa’s record dropped to 5-9-1 and the Redblacks are now in danger of losing their second seed and a playoff berth in the East Division. Saskatchewan improved to 7-6 and is two points behind the fourth place Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division and what will likely be a crossover playoff berth.

The Roughriders trailed 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter but a six-yard touchdown run by Kienan Lafrance and a 16-yard field goal by Tyler Crapigna at 9:46 tied the game 17-17.

“To be on the road against a good team like that, be down 17 and come back and win, that’s big. It shows a lot about the team,” said Roughriders quarterback Kevin Glenn, who recorded his 100th win tying him on the all-time list with retired quarterback Matt Dunigan

“He’s gonna be mad about that one. He always gets mad when I pass him or tie him for something,” Glenn joked. “When you tie him, one of the greatest quarterbacks to play in this league, it’s big. It’s a really good feeling because of how this game went and I’m always going to remember this 100th win.”

Glenn was 20-of-32 passing for 252 yards.

Both offences sputtered in the first half as the Redblacks took an 11-0 lead into the break.

An interception by the Redblacks turned into a 22-yard field goal by Brett Maher at 13:18 of the first for the opening score of the game.

In the second quarter, Ryan Lindley threw his first CFL touchdown when he connected with Greg Ellingson in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard strike at 10:47 of the first.

Lindley was making his second start at quarterback for the Redblacks following the injuries to Trevor Harris and Drew Tate. Although he says he felt better than he did during a loss in Winnipeg last week, Lindley wasn’t happy with his performance.

“It’s frustrating. All I can do is look at the way I played and I know I need to play better in the fourth quarter and the second half, ” said Lindley, who completed 17-of-31 passes for 164 yards with a touchdown and interception.

“I felt a lot more comfortable with the guys and I felt in sync and it was good to get back in a rhythm,” said Lindley. “It’s tough to put your finger on one thing though. You make your own breaks in this game. At the end of the day there was stuff out there and we could have made plays, I could have made plays, and we didn’t.”

Powell rushed for 111 yards in the opening half, giving him three consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games for the first time in his career.

He kept piling up the yards in the second half, collecting another 36 on the opening drive of the third quarter that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Lindley at 4:43.

Powell was stopped on the two-point conversion and holding the Redblacks lead to 17-0.

The Roughriders got their first points of the game at 10:49 of the third quarter on a 97-yard punt return for a touchdown by Christian Jones. Tyler Crapigna’s conversion made the score 17-7.

– CP