For the second time this season, the Redblacks kicker watched an opponent return a failed attempt from the 50-plus yard range for a touchdown as Winnipeg defensive back Maurice Leggett ran 114 yards to the Ottawa end zone early in Friday night’s Canadian Football League game.
Leggett's 28th birthday was Thursday but close enough.
Fortunately, Maher and his teammates didn’t ultimately pay for his blunder as Ottawa went on to a 42-20 victory for only its second win against 11 losses this season.
Maher lined up at the 52-yard line despite the fact he had made good on just two of his previous seven attempts beyond the 40.
When the ball sailed wide left, Leggett caught it four yards inside the Winnipeg end zone, ran to his left, eluded a couple of would-be tacklers, saw daylight and sprinted to the end zone untouched to tie the game 7-7 at 5:36 of the first quarter (click above to watch video).
On Aug. 2 in Ottawa, Maher was short on a 50-yard field goal attempt and it landed in the hands of Saskatchewan’s Tristan Jackson. Like Leggett, the returner/cornerback ran 111 yards untouched to Ottawa’s end zone.
The second time a CFL player returned a missed field for a major this season occurred on Aug. 16 in Regina, Sask., when Montreal Alouettes wide receiver Duron Carter caught the ball about 12 yards in the end zone and weaved through the Roughriders coverage for a 122-yard TD return.