Collier's record a hit with 'Gades

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:20 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- Long after the game, Anthony Collier was still going where the Renegades had never before been.

"Everybody in here is on the same page ... I'm loving this group," the defensive end said moments after Ottawa's 37-29 loss to the Lions at B.C. Place. "I think we're going to be the team to beat this year."

A bold statement, considering the Renegades are 1-2 and still considered by many as a longshot to make the CFL playoffs.

But then, more performances like that delivered by Collier on Friday night and who knows?

Playing his second game since being signed off the practice roster to replace the injured Kai Ellis, Collier all but guaranteed himself the league's most outstanding defensive player of the week award with his assault on the Lions.

He had five sacks, tying the league record and setting a Renegades standard. Last year, the club's sacks leader was Roger Dunbrach and he had seven over the entire season.

Collier also forced one fumble and deflected a pass that wound up intercepted by Jason Kralt.

"It feels good to come in here and get a record," Collier admitted, before revealing he played the game at less than 100%. "I was hurt in training camp, an MCL problem, and last week when Kai went out I wasn't totally healed. But the coach asked me to step up."

And now, with Ellis likely able to return for Saturday's home game against Calgary, it's difficult to imagine Joe Paopao asking Collier to return to the practice roster.

As rare as it is to register five sacks in a game, Mike Sutherland had never in his life scored a TD before falling on a fumble in the end zone during the fourth quarter.

The major by the veteran offensive lineman moved Ottawa to within eight points of B.C. with just under 10 minutes to play. It also was a fine way for Sutherland to mark his return to the roster, after missing most of camp and the first two games with a broken finger.

FUMBLE RECOVERY

Dressed as the team's sixth lineman, Sutherland only played four snaps -- all of Matt Kellett's field-goal attempts -- and thus only had to hustle downfield once on the lone miss. Afterwards, he credited teammates Cam Legault and Marc Pilon in the role they played on Jerel Myers' fumble about one yard from the goal line.

After detailing how he stayed in his lane and shook off his block, Sutherland described how he picked up the first six points of his life.

"The ball was starting to trickle out of the end zone," a smiling Sutherland said, "so I thought I better fall on it."

Asked why he didn't break into a TD dance, he replied: "I know there was a lot of TV viewers out there, and we don't need them turning off their sets after seeing me dance.

"I did get a couple of punches in the gut from (centre) George (Hudson), though," he added, rolling his eyes. "That felt really good."

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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