Orlondo Steinauer starts Ticats head coach tenure on (pre-season) winning note against Redblacks

By Grant Deme

Orlondo Steinauer secured his first (pre-season) win as a CFL head coach after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats took down the Ottawa Redblacks 25-21 on a cool and rainy night at TD Place.

Heading into the game all eyes were on the Redblacks quarterbacks, as Jonathon Jennings and Dominique Davis both vie to be the go-to guy following the departure of Trevor Harris.

Davis threw for 118 yards on 5-of-7 passing including a 62-yard connection on the first offensive play to former Saskatchewan Roughriders Caleb Holley.

Jennings countered, tossing for 75 yards on 4-of-8 passing, before Danny Collins and Will Ardnt took over in the second half.

After a penalty led to Ticats QB Dane Evans plunging in the team’s first major of the night, Redblacks returner R.J. Shelton tweaked his left calf on the ensuing kickoff and was carted off the field and did not return.

Shelton was cut from the club last year but was asked back likely to assume a special teams role following the departure of Diontae Spencer, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Evans completed 11-of-14 pass attempts for 96 yards in his half of play, on top of a rushing touchdown.

But it was Hayden Moore making a stronger case to backup Jeremiah Masoli. The 23-year-old rookie tossed two touchdowns on 15-of-22 passing for 176 yards and an interception.

Hamilton’s rookie receiver Josh Crockett –  not related to Ottawa’s rookie running back John Crockett – made a sliding touchdown grab to put the Ticats in front in the third quarter for the game’s second major.

The Redblacks quickly responded as DeVante Dedmon ran the following kickoff back 100 yards for six, on just his second career CFL touch.

A sample of CFL 2.0 even found a way to shine through the Ottawa rain.

After a communication breakdown led to a high snap, the Redblacks newest leg Jose Maltos improvised, punting the ball down the field for 65 yards – on the run, with his left foot.  He was the second overall pick in the Mexican Draft and later notched his first field goal.

Both teams wrap up their tune-up games next Thursday night. Hamilton faces Toronto while the Redblacks take on the Alouettes.

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