Bad Danny a perfect cure for Ottawa woes

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:43 AM ET

It was a much-needed break before their break.

The Renegades, who can now enjoy their second bye week of the season without being followed by a losing streak, fell upon some fortune last night.

They drew Bad Danny.

Showing up at a wet Frank Clair Stadium to quarterback the Hamilton Ticats was not the Danny McManus who tore apart the Edmonton Eskimos last week, or even the Danny McManus who Ottawa coach Joe Paopao a day earlier had referred to as "The King" of the quick release.

No, the Renegades got the Danny Mac who looks every bit his 40 years of age and very much like this CFL season should be his last. His inability to move the offence led to consistently good field position for the Renegades, helping them to a 27-3 halftime lead they could not find a way to blow.

Marcus Brady replaced the veteran in the second half and twice moved the Ticats within two-TD striking distance -- the second time with two and a half minutes still left to play -- and they might have made it closer had it not been for a decision to try an onside kick too early.

With Brady in there from the start -- on this night, anyway -- the Renegades might have been faced with a different fight.

"We told them to leave it on the field, to play like there's no tomorrow, and in some ways, they did," Paopao said. "We're proud of the win. Come Monday, there's things to be thankful for."

The Renegades will next try and keep its playoff hopes alive Oct. 21 in Hamilton. They'll need another win at Ivor Wynne, and they better not count on seeing Bad Danny again.

HIGH AND OUTSIDE: The men in stripes would not be tricked again. Renegades WR Markus Howell fumbled moments after catching a sideline pass and, as the teams prepared for the change of possession, replays on the itty-bitty-joke-of-a-videoboard at Frank Clair Stadium indicated he was very close to stepping out of bounds first. The crowd groaned and made sufficient ruckus, but if the officials did glance up, they weren't about to change their minds -- this time ... Jesse Lumsden's first carry was an eight-yard gain up the middle, during which a member of the visiting press exclaimed: "It's to the Hottie." Now, it's one thing for Neil's dapper son to be declared the "Hamilton Hottie" in print ads, but a little disconcerting when it's coming from a big, deep-voiced man ... Believe it -- the Renegades went the entire game without even once instructing their punter to give up a safety. They must lead the league easily in handing the opposition a gift-wrapped two points ... CB Crance Clemons was a first-half star for the Renegades. He recovered another Jason Armstead fumble on a punt return at the Ottawa 34, then, a little later, intercepted a Danny Mac pass at the Hamilton 36.

SECOND AND SHORT: Ticats DT Adriano Belli was given a 15-yard penalty for punching Ottawa G Morris Unutoa square in his unutoas. How he wasn't tossed out of the game is unimaginable ... Never mind picking a contest winner, I think they should have given $1,000 to anyone showing up in pajamas last night. As long as they promised to put it toward psychiatric help ... Pat Woodcock, who scored a 35-yard touchdown on his only reception of the first half, almost had a 41-yard TD catch in the final quarter before he dropped the ball on what would have been a spectacular catch. Woodcock, who had his strongest game last season when the Renegades were facing elimination at Ivor Wynne Stadium, obviously has no allergies to Cats ... Cam Legault must have thrown the longest block in CFL history on the Da'Shann Austin interception/Kyries Hebert fumble recovery that covered 76 yards for an Ottawa touchdown. Legault pushed McManus all the way back to the Hamilton goal line on the play .... Bad penalties by Quincy Coleman (illegal contact) and Anthony Collier (offside) aided an opening drive by the Ticats that resulted in the game's first points, a 48-yard field goal by Jamie Boreham ... Matt Kellett kicked one the same length through the same goal posts late in the second quarter, then amazingly nailed a 53-yarder, with room to spare on the last play before the intermission. Yes, that Matt Kellett ... Classy halftime hostess who -- with the home team up by 24 points and little kids dressed in football attire who were putting on a show only their parents could be watching -- asked the crowd: "Whaddya say everybody, are these tykes playing better than the Hamilton Ticats?" The Tabbies, obviously fired up by the comment, responded with a 63-yard Boreham single on their next possession ... Howell scored on a 14-yard TD pass from Joseph in the fourth quarter. It could have been his third major of the game had he been a couple of inches better on flying, punt block attempts earlier in the night.

LATE HITS: Halftime quarterback stats were inconsistent with the Renegades' 24-point lead: Joseph completed 6-of-17 passes for 91 yards with McManus good on 7-of-16 for 75 yards ... Decided after Lumsden returned the second-half kickoff 42 yards: He's the fastest 226-lb. Canadian we've ever seen ... A guy from Arnprior won a car at the game last night. But he still has to live in Arnprior. Just kidding. I love Arnprior. Great golf, a great sports bar (The Prior) and Wes' Chip truck. What more could you ask for? ... And finally, if outstanding Hamilton WR Craig Yeast signs elsewhere in the off-season, will it be considered a Yeast Defection?

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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