Clutch, late game TD drive propels Redblacks over Lions

Ottawa Redblacks running back William Powell was talking earlier in the week about how they needed to get their offence back on track. Friday he let his play do the talking.

Powell rushed for 50 yards and scored a two-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the game to give the Ottawa Redblacks a 29-25 win over the B.C. Lions on Friday night. He also had seven catches for 61 yards while Lewis Ward kicked five field goals.

“We’re going to go back to the drawing board and put a big emphasis on that we want to get touchdowns instead of putting three on the board and kicking field goals,” Powell said.

“We can’t have those stalled out drives and we have to keep the pace up. Whenever we keep the pace up and we’re flowing and we’re moving and we won’t stop and we get the defence tired we always have success.”

That was certainly the case Friday as the Redblacks improved to 3-2 while dropping the Lions to 2-3 and handing them their eighth loss in their last nine road games.

“We have a new attitude and everyone believes. When the chips were down we came back and won,” Powell said.

After Tyler Long kicked a 20-yard field goal giving the Lions a 25-22 lead with 1:59 to play, Trevor Harris drove the Redblacks 80 yards on eight plays capped off by Powell’s two-yard run for the win.

Harris finished with 363 passing yards and a touchdown.

“The parity in this league is amazing. The close games we’ve got to be able to pull it off and tonight we did so we have to take a lesson from it, which we talked about as a team after the game,” Harris said.

“It’s gratifying to get the win, but just like last week that was one loss, this is one win.”

Travis Lulay threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions, including a 78-yard catch-and-run play to Emmanuel Arceneaux inside the final three minutes that led to the Long field goal.

There was a time count violation that led to a loss of down on the drive taking the ball out of Lulay’s hand for one more shot at the end zone.

“We had too many dropped balls. I don’t know that we stalled, but at times we just didn’t capitalize on plays and it hurts us along with the time count violation that cost us a chance to go for seven,” Lions coach Wally Buono said.

“Give them credit though, they played hard and at the end they scored a touchdown at the end and we didn’t.”

An incomplete pass on third down by Lulay with 25 seconds to play sealed the win for the Redblacks.

Lewis Ward’s fifth field goal of the night, this one from 36-yards out, tied the game 22-22 for the Redblacks four minutes into the fourth quarter.

The Lions built a 14-9 halftime lead with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns to erase a 6-0 lead the Redblacks had built.

Lulay connected with Ricky Collins Jr. on a five-yard touchdown pass at 10:31 before Brandon Rutley scored a one-yard run at 12:59.

Ward got three of those points back with a 39-yard field goal just nine seconds before the end of the half. It was the third field goal of the game for Ward, who hit first-quarter three-pointers from 11 and 47 yards on the Redblacks’ first two drives on the game.

The Redblacks collected 11 first downs and 203 yards of offence in the first half, compared with 13 first downs and 169 yards of offence during the entirety of their loss against Calgary last week.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Ward kicked a 48-yard field goal cutting the B.C. lead to 14-12, but on the next series Lulay connected with Arceneaux not once, but twice on an eight-point scoring play.

The touchdown pass was 26 yards and then Lulay found a diving Arceneaux in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion.

The Redblacks responded on their next possession as Harris found Brad Sinopoli in the end zone for a 13-yard major. It was the Redblacks’ first touchdown in almost nine quarters of football, and the Ward conversion pulled them to within three at 22-19 after the third quarter.

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