Ottawa Redblacks’ backup quarterback Tyrell Pigrome celebrated a rushing touchdown to extend Ottawa’s lead to 14-3 in the second quarter. Pigrome had two rushing touchdowns on the night and was one of Ottawa’s only bright spots. Photo: Courtesy of Ottawa Redblacks’ Instagram @CFLRedblacks].

Alouettes 25, Redblacks 24. 

Winning by 11 points with under five minutes to play, the Ottawa Redblacks should have never lost that football game.

But disastrous game management and horrendously conservative playcalling in the final few minutes, pathetically weak coverage and a lack of concentration in the secondary, and overall poor execution cost Ottawa the game.

Ottawa had the chance to improve to 4-6, 1.5 games back of the 5-4 Montreal Alouettes who were in sole possession of second place in the East division. Instead, Ottawa falls to last place in the East division with a 3-7 record, behind the 3-6 Hamilton Tiger-Cats and 3.5 games back of the second place 6-3 Alouettes having now lost twice to the Als this season. 

Ottawa is currently riding a four-game losing streak; Montreal has won four games in a row for the first time in multiple seasons.

Ottawa has yet to beat a division rival this season and now has a 15-game home-losing streak against East Division teams, per

So many things went wrong for the Redblacks in the final few minutes and there are so many questions regarding why Ottawa wasn’t able to close out the victory and we have very few answers. 
Could you argue that the Redblacks were robbed of an interception in the endzone by Sherrod Baltimore that would’ve sealed the win for Ottawa? Of course. 

But it doesn’t take away from the fact that Ottawa’s secondary folded and couldn’t get a stop when it mattered most. 

Under no circumstances should an Alouettes’ wide receiver be left so wide open with under one minute left on 3rd and 4 when the Redblacks’ defense knew the Alouettes needed a touchdown to take the lead and knew they were in man-to-man prevent defense. 

Yet, the Redblacks’ corner decided to spy the Alouettes’ quarterback Caleb Evans from the sideline instead of following his man-to-man coverage; and sure enough, Evans found him wide open for a huge gain down the sideline which led to Evans’ winning rushing TD.

Whether that is a schematics miscommunication or simply a player with a severe lack of awareness and discipline is unknown, but under no circumstances should that happen in a CFL game, especially in crunch time.

In addition, the Redblacks consistently shot themselves in the foot, getting charged with multiple penalties to give the Alouettes crucial yardage and first downs in the game’s final few minutes.
The Redblacks also should’ve called a timeout with the Alouettes in the red zone with less than one minute to play to preserve some time if they did score, but they didn’t.

The loss is all the more disappointing after the Redblacks started the game quite strong, scoring 14 points – backup QB Tyrell Pigrome found the endzone twice, both times on quarterback draws – off two Alouettes turnovers (a forced fumble by Cleyon Laing and an interception by Damon Webb) to take a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

The worst part of it all is former Redblacks’ quarterback Caleb Evans orchestrated an extremely efficient game-winning drive, which resulted in him running in the game-winning touchdown before letting the home fans hear it. 

Evans was extremely efficient, completing 24/36 passes, for 333 passing yards, with two passing touchdowns but he did throw two interceptions. He also rushed eight times for 49 yards and one touchdown, which sealed the victory for the Alouettes. Evans still performed admirably despite getting sacked four times, throwing two interceptions, and fumbling the football in the first half.

On the other hand, Redblacks quarterback Dustin Crum completed 14/19 passes for only 130 yards and a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend Ottawa’s lead to 14 points. He also threw one interception which came off a hail mary pass on the final play of the game. 

Ottawa totaled 173 rushing yards and their defense was aggressive, forcing five sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble which directly led to 14 points off turnovers in the first half, so Crum didn’t necessarily need to throw for a ton of yards, but no team will win many games with less than 150 total passing yards. You can’t be forced to be one-dimensional.

Simply put, Crum was extremely frustrated after the game. 

“There are little things you can’t allow in this league, it costs you games. We have a bunch of competitive dudes in this locker room. So, we’re frustrated. We’ve had quite a few close games go against us,” Crum said. 
He added that it’s a plethora of mistakes that are hurting the team, not just one specific thing.

“We shot ourselves in the foot. You can’t blame (the loss on) one thing. The offense had a chance to stay on the field to run the clock out. The defense had opportunities to make stops. We had dumb penalties.”

This has been the pattern for Ottawa in most of their losses this season. Defensive coverage lapses that result in getting beat through the air on deep balls, back-breaking penalties, assignment mistakes, and conservative playcalling on offense with a chance to run out the clock. In their four-game losing streak, Ottawa gave up over 300 passing yards in every game, over 350 yards twice, and over 415 yards against the Argonauts. Even in their two wins against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders, they surrendered 369 and 450 passing yards respectively, the only difference being their flawless offense bailed them out in those games.

Something clearly has to change. Whether it is the starters selected to play every week, the tactics, the defensive playcalling, or perhaps the person coaching the defense, something has to get better. A team won’t win many games consistently giving up over 350 pass yards.

Head coach Bob Dyce emphasized that this loss stings more than the average loss.

“Whether it’s losing by 30 points or whatever, this one probably stings a little more,” said Redblacks head coach Bob Dyce. “If we take care of business, we have the game in hand.”

But the Redblacks could not seal the victory, closing out games must be a huge emphasis in practice this week.

“The league reviewed it. Obviously, they believed it wasn’t an interception,” Dyce said when asked about the overturned interception. “There’s not a whole lot you can do. We’ve got the replays (on the scoreboard); it looked like (an interception). Maybe they have more angles, maybe (Baltimore) was bobbling the ball, I guess is what they were saying. (The coaches in the Coach’s Box above the field) said it could go both ways.

Baltimore felt like he had caught the game-winning interception.

“I felt like I caught it, but (they have) slo-mo (to review it),” he said. “It was big. If I catch that interception, they don’t score on that next play.”

Up next, the 3-7 Redblacks visit Commonwealth Stadium to play the 1-9 Edmonton Elks. At this point in the season, this is not only a season-defining game, but a must-win for the Redblacks.


  • Adamo Marinelli

    I am currently in my fourth year of Journalism at Carleton University. I love to watch and write about all sports and have played many sports like swimming and soccer since I was very little. I hope to continue developing my writing, reporting, and editing skills in hopes of becoming a professional sports reporter one day.

By Adamo Marinelli

I am currently in my fourth year of Journalism at Carleton University. I love to watch and write about all sports and have played many sports like swimming and soccer since I was very little. I hope to continue developing my writing, reporting, and editing skills in hopes of becoming a professional sports reporter one day.

One thought on “Ottawa Redblacks lose a heartbreaker against division rival Alouettes, drop to 3-7”
  1. You nailed it there. I think they need to make a change in personnel in the backfield. Plus the playcalling needs to be more creative and aggressive. Must win this week for sure

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