Panther has night to remember in Redblacks' season opener
By Fred Sherwin
was a night to remember for former Cumberland Panther
and Sir Wilfrid Laurier alum Brendan Gillanders, alhough
not necessarily for all the right reasons.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)