Ticats receiver Bralon Addison. Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Ticats receiver Bralon Addison. Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Ottawa Redblacks’ defence gave the club a chance to win Saturday’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at TD Place.

But it wasn’t enough to make up for Ottawa’s dreadful performance on offence, as the Ticats clawed their way to a 21-7 win and improve to 7-2 on the year.

There wasn’t too much excitement in this Saturday sleeper.

The teams combined for just five points in the opening half — Hamilton with four and Ottawa with one.

But there were plenty of opportunities for more. If not for an end zone interception by Antoine Pruneau or a streak-snapping missed field goal from Lewis Ward, the first half wouldn’t have ended in what resembled a hockey score.

Hamilton finished the game with three turnovers despite the win.

Ward received a standing ovation from the home crowd following his 31-yard miss. He connected on his previous 69 regular season attempts, a pro football record which may never be broken. It wasn’t his most challenging kick, nor was it the most pressure-packed, but the streak dating back to last season is over.

Rick Campbell swapped quarterbacks for the final two drives in the second quarter. Dominique Davis was yanked for Jonathon Jennings after five consecutive two-and-outs. Jennings didn’t fare much better in his reps and Davis was back for the second half.

Ottawa fans booed their starting pivot repeatedly during the game, who finished 20-for-40 with 238 passing yards.

Hamilton finally scored a major early in the third quarter. Aided by an end zone pass interference penalty, depth quarterback David Watford walked in for an 11-1 lead.

Stefan Logan was a bright spot for Ottawa. The newly-signed returner had some big plays called back on penalties but had a 37-yarder that stuck. A rare flash of offence followed Logan’s long return when Davis found Dominique Rhymes for 47 yards and Ward split the uprights moments later.

Tight defence from the Redblacks took Hamilton points off the board again when Evans was picked off in the end zone for a second time. Anthony Cioffi was initially flagged for pass interference, but a challenge overturned the ruling.

Evans finished the game going 24-for-39 with 299 passing yards, a touchdown and two picks. Bralon Addison recorded another 100-yard game, while Luke Tasker hauled in six catches for 83 yards.

Cameron Marshall finished the game with 92 yards on the ground in his second start of the season.

A botched snapped on a short field goal attempt later denied the Tabbies three more points.

The Redblacks cut the lead to four early in the final quarter, but that’s as close as they got.

Rookie receiver Jaylon Acklin grabbed his second touchdown of the season after a quick drive extended Hamilton’s lead. The Ticats quickly added three more after the defence jumped on a loose ball intended for Caleb Holley.

Redblacks’ head coach Rick Campbell opted twice in the red zone on third and long to go for a touchdown rather than take a couple of field goals to make it an eight point game, both of which resulted in a turnover on downs.

The Ticats have some injury concerns as veteran defensive linemen Ted Laurent and Adrian Tracy were both unable to finish the game.

Ottawa visits the Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-3) next week, while Hamilton will travel to Vancouver to face the Lions (1-8).

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Grant Deme
Grant Deme is a reporter and anchor in southwestern Ontario and a lifelong follower of the CFL.