Playing just his second game with the Redblacks, Jonathan Williams scored two touchdowns and had over 220 total yards as the Redblacks trounced the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 42-20 Friday night.
The win was the first for the Redblacks (2-11) since July 18 and it halted a nine-game losing streak.
The Blue Bombers (6-8) have now lost five straight and seven of their past eight after starting the season at 5-1.
The 42 points scored is the biggest offensive output this season by the Redblacks as they compiled over 500 yards of total offence.
Williams picked up 180 of those yards along the ground and another 49 in receptions.
"We got that win and it’s definitely a good feeling," said Williams. "I definitely got in the zone a little bit more and I was more comfortable. Last week I got my feet wet and this week I was more adjusted to the offence and clued in to what we had to get done,."
Ottawa's Henry Burris threw for 284 yards, completing 24 of 31 passes.
"It was good to see us respond and make the plays accordingly when they needed to be made," Burris said.
"We’re becoming a better offence each week and we’ve been able to move the ball, but it was good to see us do it consistently and put points on the board and put the ball in the end zone. The O-line did a great job against a defensive front seven and giving Jonathan a lot of holes to work with."
A 32-yard field goal from Brett Maher accounted for the only scoring in the final quarter for the Redblacks as they produced 39 points through the first three quarters.
On the other side of the ball, Winnipeg's Drew Willy had a night he would rather forget with only 191 yards on 18 completions with two interceptions.
"I didn't execute at a high enough level. I’ll have to look at the film but obviously it wasn’t good enough," said Willy, who was sacked six times.
"This was by far the most frustrating (loss) I’ve had this year for sure. ... I’m sure there were plays to be made out there, we just need to do a better job as a unit and come together. We have to get better this week and do everything we can to get ready for Edmonton."
The Redblacks only had two complete possessions in the third quarter but they used them effectively — scoring 11 points to take a 39-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Their first drive of the quarter ended with a 25-yard field goal from Maher and their second was a two-yard touchdown run from Williams.
They added a single on the ensuing kickoff.
In between, the Blue Bombers added three points of their own on a drive that started on their own 35 ended with a Lirim Hajrullahu 22-yard field goal.
The Ottawa defence kept the Blue Bombers to under 300 yards of offence, and defensive lineman Justin Capicciotti had a lot to do with that compiling two sacks and three tackles.
"Our defence was just putting a whole game together and our DBs were covering everybody out there, getting interceptions, and it made it easy on our D-line," Capicciotti said.
Points wise the Redblacks started and ended the first half in the end zone, but got there in completely different fashions.
A one-yard sneak by Burris got the Redblacks a major with just three seconds remaining in the half while a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown by Travis Brown on just the second play from scrimmage in the first quarter gave the Redblacks an early 7-0 lead after the conversion.
In between was pretty much new terrain for the Redblacks and their fans as the 28 first-half points was nearly half of their 59 total points the team had scored in its first six home games combined.
After Willy had his second pass of the game returned for a touchdown, the Blue Bombers responded with 10 straight points to take the lead after the opening quarter 10-7.
As excited as the sellout crowd was with Ottawa's early success, they became equally deflated when Winnipeg free safety Maurice Leggett returned a missed 51-yard field goal attempt 114 yards for a touchdown just shy of six minutes into the game.
"It was designed and there was a lot of confusion on our side but I was just thinking score," Leggett said.
"That’s the longest I had, by default with the size of the field (110 yards compared to 100 yards in the U.S.), but I’ve been doing that my whole career, my whole life and I was just trying to do the best thing possible to help my team."
Then, following a Burris interception, Willy drove the field with the series ending on a nine-yard field goal by Hajrullahu.
The Redblacks regained the lead on a 53-yard TD run by Williams in the second quarter.
On the ensuing series the Blue Bombers needed just four plays take the lead again as they covered 43 yards, including a Robert Marve one-yard TD run at 13:17.
The rest of the half belonged to the Redblacks as they scored 14 points in the final 1:43.
After Burris was hurt after a late hit from Winnipeg back Ejiro Kuale, Danny O'Brien took over at quarterback. Williams put together runs of five and 26 yards before O'Brien found Khalil Paden a five-yard touchdown pass.
The Bombers failed to convert on third down on their next possession leading to the Burris score at the end of the half.