Canadian Football League

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Gades move into share of first place in Canadian Football League East

Korey Banks says the Ottawa Renegades' defence can give up a thousand yards and win.
They almost gave it a try in a 21-16 CFL victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday night.
Saskatchewan held the ball for 20 minutes 44 seconds of the first 30 minutes and riddled the Renegades for 273 yards but went to the locker room with only a 9-2 halftime lead, thanks in great part to Banks' end zone interception five seconds before intermission.
"We can give up a thousand yards a game but if they don't score a touchdown, we've got a chance to win," said Banks, who added another interception in the second half.
"It felt great to be down only seven points at halftime. We knew our offence was going to pick it up. We just had to keep it going: start fast, go hard and don't stop."
When the Renegades were given a gift safety touch early in the third quarter on a snap that flew over Roughrider punter Paul McCallum's head, quarterback Kerry Joseph finally got the Ottawa offence going. To that point, it had registered only two first downs, but after McCallum put the subsequent kickoff out of bounds, Ottawa drove 65 yards and registered five first downs en route to Joseph's 20-yard touchdown run that put the Renegades ahead 11-9.
"We knew we had to get it in gear," Joseph said. "We weren't moving the football and I hadn't played all that well. We didn't do anything different. We just had to make plays when we had the chance and put the first downs together."
Ottawa (3-3) is tied for top spot in the East with the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) while Saskatchewan (3-3) is third in the West. It was the Renegades' first victory in four games at Taylor Field since entering the CFL in 2002.
Ottawa expanded its lead to 18-9 late in the third quarter when Greene flipped a shovel pass directly into the hands of Ottawa defensive end Anthony Collier at the Ottawa 45. Collier lateralled at the Saskatchewan 22 to Kyries Hebert, who lugged the ball into the end zone.
Placekicker Mark Irvin, pressed into service because of Matt Kellett's groin injury, converted both Ottawa touchdowns and made a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Crandell, who replaced Greene early in the fourth quarter, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Thurmon with 24 seconds remaining in the game. Saskatchewan recovered the onside kick at its 52-yard line but Crandell threw incomplete passes on the next three plays.
Joseph completed 14 of 27 passes for 130 yards with two interceptions. Greene was 17-for-32 for 139 yards and three interceptions while Crandell was 10-for-17 for 108 yards. Kenton Keith of Saskatchewan and Josh Ranek of Ottawa were their teams' leading rushers with 73 and 66 yards respectively.
McCallum figured in all the first-half scoring, booting field goals of 40, 35 and 25 yards, and conceding a safety touch out of punt formation. The Roughriders' squandered opportunities included a botched 27-yard field goal attempt where holder Rocky Butler fumbled the snap.
Hampered by injuries throughout the season, the Roughriders were able to play their first-string defence for the first time since opening day as defensive tackle Nate Davis (back), defensive end Daved Benefield (flu) and linebacker Jackie Mitchell (groin) returned to action. However, starting slotback Jason French was sidelined by a rib injury sustained Tuesday in practice.


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