'Gades' defence never rests

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Renegades defensive back Quincy Coleman thought yesterday was one of those great days to be alive.

So did many other members of the Renegades defence who put together a tremendous performance in the latter stages of the second half in Friday's 39-36 comeback win over the Montreal Alouettes.

"It was great waking up this morning," said Coleman yesterday.

The Renegades continued to feel the euphoria yesterday from their improbable victory over the favoured Alouettes.

They erased a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie it before winning in overtime on a clinching field goal by Matt Kellett.

And while Ottawa's offence finally got it together and rallied to score the points in the final 15 minutes, the defence made the big plays that gave quarterback Kerry Joseph and company a chance to win.

"I was happy with the way we responded in the so-called crunch time. In the fourth quarter, when we really didn't have any margin for error," said defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall. "The thing we did accomplish, and I did feel good about it, was that when we had to step up in the fourth quarter, we stepped up."

The defence allowed 537 yards to the Alouettes, but made big plays in the final quarter.

- Veteran defensive lineman Jerome Haywood sacked Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo on a second-and-five play near midfield that forced Montreal to punt.

- On the next Montreal possession, Coleman made a quick tackle on receiver Dave Stala, preventing the Alouettes from making a first down.

- After Joseph threw an interception in Montreal territory, the defence got the ball back when Coleman forced a fumble after a Montreal catch and returned it 22 yards before lateralling to Kyries Hebert, who carried it another 13 to set the Renegades up with great field position deep in Montreal territory.

On the next play, Joseph connected with Frank Cutolo in the corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass to get the Renegades to within a field goal.

- Then with the Alouettes driving into Ottawa territory with time winding down, defensive back Bo Rogers broke up a pass on a third-and-one gamble that gave the Renegades' offence one last chance.

Kellett kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime.

"We didn't make too many mistakes in the second half, and that felt great," said Coleman.

"In the first half, they were capitalizing on our mistakes, but in the second half, we got it together and executed real good."

In overtime, the Ottawa defence stopped Montreal short of the end zone on both possessions by the Alouettes.

CRUCIAL STOP

On the first, Korey Banks tackled Ben Cahoon short of a first down, forcing Alouettes kicker Damon Duval to hit a 25-yard field goal to extend the extra period.

Then Greg Moss stopped Terry Vaughn short of a first down on Montreal's second overtime try, and Duval sailed a 42-yard field goal attempt left of the uprights to give Ottawa a shot at the win.

"I'm happy right now. I'm just happy to be a winner," said Banks, who had seven tackles and intercepted Calvillo in the first half.

"I was telling the guys before the game that we were going to start a streak -- either a winning streak, or a two-game losing streak. Which one was it going to be?"

"Well, we've got a one-game winning streak now, and that's a good thing for us."

The Ottawa defence emerged from Friday's game with injuries that could keep two players out of action Friday against the B.C. Lions in Vancouver. Linebacker Gerald Vaughn is questionable after straining a hamstring in the fourth quarter. And former Lions defensive back Da'Shann Austin suffered a concussion in the second quarter and could miss his return to Vancouver on Friday.


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