The Ottawa Renegades are starting to make believers among the CFL aficionado, the Rens who got off to a horrible start Friday night, turned things around in the second half and took two points out of Taylor Field, something that hasn't happened for an Ottawa football club for a number of years.
Korey Banks made a timely interception as time was winding down in the first half to deny the Roughriders a touchdown, setting the stage for the Ottawa comeback of the second half. A frustrated Rider team went into the dressing room at half time in complete control of the football game in every facet but the scoreboard. Ball control the Riders ruled, yards gained the Riders dominated, score on the board well seven points does not a steamroller make.
The Renegades came out in the second half and turned on their offence and got things in gear, helped along by a number of Saskatchewan miscues the Renegades began to put some points on the board. Kerry Joseph put the Rens first TD on the board with a 20 yard run to take an 11-9 lead, that was expanded to 18-9 with a remarkable interception return that featured a lateral from Anthony Collier to Kyries Hebert who took the ball into the endzone for the major.
Marcus Crandell replaced the frustrated Nealon Greene in the fourth quarter and took the Rider downfield for a touchdown as the clock was winding down, but in the end the Riders came up a tad short as the Renegades took the victory 21-16.
The game was very much lost by Saskatchewan who seemed to find different ways to give the ball away or blow key drives all night long. Last week an irate Danny Barrett cancelled the Riders day off and sent them back to the basics in practice. It would appear the lessons were lost and the Riders can expect more of the same as August gets under way. For the Rens a 3-3 record keeps them high in the hunt in the CFL East as they continue to find ways to win key games. The Rens sit tied for first place in the Eastern Division with the Toronto Argonauts, a situation not many would have pondered at the start of the season.
It will be interesting to see if the Renegades newfound success on the field will finally translate into some increased attendance at Frank Clair Stadium. The Renegades are showing that they play for the whole sixty minutes, it would be nice to see some more fans show up to go for the ride!