October 10, 2022

Dyce leads REDBLACKS to first win as interim head coach

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The Ottawa REDBLACKS held off a late game push from the Montreal Alouettes to earn a 24-18 in the final game of the CFL Thanksgiving weekend presented by Purolator.

In his first game since being named the team’s interim head coach, Bob Dyce earned his first win as Ottawa’s head coach as he helped lead his team in a thrilling victory over the East Division rivals.

Quarterback Nick Arbuckle put together one of his most efficient passing games of the season as he completed 8.7 per cent of his passes for 229 yards in the game. However, it was Caleb Evans who helped shift the momentum in the game with two goal line scores, including a touchdown to help Ottawa take the lead early in the final quarter.


THANKSGIVING WEEKEND presented by Purolator
» Box Score: REDBLACKS, Als by the numbers
Through the Lens: Ottawa at Montreal
» Recap: REDBLACKS overcome Alouettes in Thanksgiving Monday win
Watch: Arbuckle airs it out


When asked about what the win meant to the team and the coaching, Ottawa defensive back Antoine Pruneau told TSN post-game that he’s proud of the effort and the behind the scenes work that was put in.

“I’m proud of the coaches, they’ve worked extremely hard this week to make things happen,” said Pruneau. “William Arndt calling his first game, coach Dyce as the head coach and obviously we all feel for coach LaPolice. I know it’s tough for him today so we had to be tough as well.”

The REDBLACKS offence was in possession of the ball for over 20-minutes in the second half of the game. Largely in part due to plays from their defence. Pruneau himself recovered a fumble in the game that helped ignite an Ottawa scoring drive to end the third quarter.

Late in the game Ottawa’s defence would hold Montreal out of the end zone, forcing a field goal. Their offence would follow up the stop with a 10-play scoring drive that was highlighted by a made field goal from Lewis Ward. When asked about the play in the second half, Pruneau was quick to credit his team’s offence.

“When you can have a drive like that late in the game it gives a lot of hope to the team,” said Pruneau of his team’s offence. “The last drive where the got us three points, made everybody believe. So that’s an outstanding job by them.”

Coming into the final weeks of the regular season, the REDBLACKS managed to evade elimination for another week. Pruneau said that his team is trying to take advantage of every possible opportunity as the season comes to a close.

“We’re just trying to stay alive right now,” said Pruneau. “Obviously, we’re trying to make Ottawa proud and get back in a position where we can be in the playoffs, so lot’s of emotion, there was a lot of intensity this week in practice. We needed that win and I’m proud of these guys.”

The REDBLACKS and Alouettes will share the field once again in Week 19 as they meet in the nation’s capital for the second game of a home-and-home from TD Place. As Ottawa tries to fight back into a playoff spot, the Alouettes have their eyes on securing a home playoff game.

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