Volume 12 Week 5

Monday, Nov. 20


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney

   


Ottawa Redblacks
Former Panther has night to remember in Redblacks' season opener
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

It was a night to remember for former Cumberland Panther and Sir Wilfrid Laurier alum Brendan Gillanders, alhough not necessarily for all the right reasons.

Gillanders was expected to see spot duty in the Ottawa Redblacks home opener against the Calgary Stampeders on Friday, but when starting running back William Powell had to leave the game with an injury late in the first half, Gillanders was thrust into the spot light.

The special teams specialist had everal key carries and rushed for over 80 yards, but it was his ninth carry in the 4th quarter that proved pivotal.

The Redblacks were leading 28-14 and looked to have the game in hand when Gillanders was tackled by Juron Criner and lost the handle on the football. Jamar Wall recovered the loose ball on the Redblacks 24-yard line and the Stampeders scored a touchdown two plays later to narrow the deficit to 28-21.

The turnover and subsequent touchdown had the effect of rejuvenating Calgary's offence, and they would end up tying the game and forcing overtime in which both teams scored a field goal ending the game in a tie.

Aside from the fumble, Gillanders had a strong game, Four of his carries were for more than 10 yards and gave the Redblacks a first down.

The extent of Powell's ankle injury remained unknown by game's end. Bit if he's out for any length of time, Gillander's impressive season debut should qualify him as Powell's logical stand-in.

Gillanders was acquired by the Redblacks prior to the start of the 2016 campaign, but an injury in a pre-season game kept him out of the lineup until mid August.

He eventually suited up for 10 games, but was used sparringly, carrying the ball just six times for 23 yards and catching the ball three times for 28 yards. His 12 carries and one reception on Saturday were nearly as many touches as he's had in the two previous seasons combined.

(Posted 11:30 a.m., June 24)

 

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