MONTREAL — Ottawa Redblacks kicker Lewis Ward has made so many consecutive field goals he’s lost count. But the latest one will be remembered for a while.
Ward’s third field goal of the night came in overtime, while DeVonte Dedmon ran back two kicks for touchdowns as the Redblacks beat the Montreal Alouettes 30-27 on Friday. The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Redblacks.
"They’re all pretty important but this one’s pretty special," Ward said. "We were in a bit of a slump and we’re starting to climb ourselves back out of it. It’s a special win for us."
Ward has now made a league-record 67 consecutive field goals, with his 15-yard boot in extra time ending the losing skid for the Redblacks. Dedmon finished with 377 total kick return yards along with his two TDs.
"The returns were obviously a huge part of the game," Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said. "You don’t see it real often what that guy did. The thing that was really impressive on that second return was that wasn’t just talent, that was a determined guy that wasn’t going to go down and he was going to find a way to get in the end zone and he did it."
Ottawa quarterback Dominique Davis threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball once, but threw a touchdown and 164 yards passing in the win.
Als quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. completed 13-of-25 passes for 120 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. But after taking a hit to the head in the second half, he was forced to leave the game. It was later reported that Adams Jr. entered concussion protocol. Als head coach Khari Jones said he believed Adams Jr. suffered a "minor concussion."
"We just have to assess it and see how it is," Jones said.
Antonio Pipkin, Montreal’s Week 1 starter before an injury sidelined him, would take over in the third quarter and finish the game.
Davis threw his first interception on his team’s second drive of the game –his eighth of the year — which led to an 18-yard Boris Bede field goal. Later in the quarter, Davis completed a pass to receiver Brad Sinopoli, only for the Canadian to fumble the ball and give possession back to Montreal.
Adams Jr. would score on a 13-yard run on his next drive, diving headfirst towards the pylon. He was briefly down on the play after the dive.
The Redblacks responded thanks to a 111-yard kickoff return from Dedmon, then completed a two-point conversion to cut their deficit to two points. But Adams Jr. came back by scoring his second rushing touchdown of the day, extending his team’s lead to 17-8 as the first quarter ended.
A second-quarter touchdown wasn’t scored until the final minute of the half when Dedmon took back his second touchdown on a 95-yard punt return.
The Alouettes entered halftime up 17-14.
The Redblacks capitalized off an Alouettes mistake early in the third. Adams Jr. was picked off by defensive tackle Michael Wakefield with the goal line at his back.
Davis then threw his lone touchdown pass of the day to Sinopoli, giving the Redblacks their first lead of the night at 21-17.
Bede would then put the Als within one point through a 30-yard field goal, and would later tie the game at 21 points apiece through a single on the next kickoff.
Off another Redblacks fumble, the Alouettes would get another field goal from Bede, giving them a 24-21 lead with 3:02 left in the third quarter. Bede would add a fourth field goal with over ten minutes to play in the fourth, giving Montreal a 27-21 lead.
Ward then kicked two fourth-quarter field goals, including a game-tying score with two seconds left that sent the game to overtime.
The Redblacks scored first in overtime. The Alouettes would try to score on their next possession, but a fumble recovered by Ottawa would end the game.
NOTES: The announced attendance at Molson Stadium was 17,498.