'Gades scoring thrills

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Now that's exciting. A season-high crowd of 20,607 that looks even bigger (Must be because the Mardi Gras Madness sections in the upper southside stands are packed. Go figure).

The home team trailing by two with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter. A TV timeout with the defence on the field. DB Korey Banks turns to the loudest half of Frank Clair Stadium. He jumps up and down, motioning for noise:

"DEE-FENCE. DEE-FENCE."

The fans go wild. The joint rocks like it hasn't rocked in a non-Grey Cup game for decades. Couple plays later, Banks pulls in his CFL-leading seventh interception and sprints down the sidelines, right in front of the very people he had just urged to do their part.

Couple plays after that, Kerry Joseph scores on a 13-yard touchdown run, and the place is vibrating again.

The Renegades go on to win their fifth game in eight tries, thanks in part to another interception, from Bo Rogers, with two minutes left, and a last play end-zone pass knock down by the other corner, Greg Moss.

But the victory, like the stars, is mostly secondary.

In the fourth year of the Renegades existence, it is now official:

The CFL has finally returned to Ottawa.

Just listen.

High and Outside:

Ah yes, but the Renegades blew it at the Will Call window last night. Hundreds of fans missed most of the first quarter as only three staffers were handing out tickets that the good people had already purchased. Team president Lonie Glieberman admitted to the gaffe, saying his employees should have called on help from the group of 60 volunteers at the stadium. Glieberman also shouldered blame himself for failing to schedule a pre-game meeting with his staff this week. "We screwed up," said Glieberman. "We'll get that fixed for next game." To apologize, the Renegades are giving everyone who was affected by their error a 2-for-1 ticket deal to the Sept. 8 home game against the B.C. Lions. Glieberman says call the Renegades box office, your name should be on the computer. A nice fumble recovery, it is ... Three plays, one touchdown, perfect start for reigning offensive player of the week Kerry Joseph ... Imagine, a CFL game that didn't see its first field-goal attempt until the last minute of the third quarter. With his first attempt in more than two weeks and 44 minutes, Matt Kellett shook off the rust and missed a 35-yarder that would have put Ottawa up by a point.

Late Hits:

Renegades rookie LB Cam Yeow picked up his first pro fumble recovery in the opening quarter at the Saskatchewan 44. The offence failed to capitalize ... As much as some media crybabies are whining about the season passes made out of paper they have to wear around their neck (honest), the team apparently saved $10,000 doing it this way. Nobody cares what the media wears, as I tell my boss regularly ... Okay, so last game the Renegades draw 17,607 and last night attendance is 20,607? And Lonie's not just picking a number off the top of his head? ... Ever notice how it took original Renegade Steve Glenn to sign in Saskatchewan (two weeks ago) before Cheapseats points out that the game's best long snapper warms up by firing the ball through his legs and off the pole holding the uprights from about 12 yards out? Watch, he never misses ... Singing the national anthem was Ottawa's very own Tammy Laverty, a lovely and talented former Rough Riders cheerleader who has gone on to make a career for herself in Los Angeles as an entertainer. Her gigs have included singing the Star Spangled Banner at Dodgers and A's games.

Extra Points:

Roughrider Scott Gordon, an Ottawa native, looked like he was trying to hold Joseph up after he hit him near the sidelines at the Renegades bench. Officials thought the gentlemanly act was too late. They ruled a major foul on Gordon, allowing the hosts to set up at the Saskatchewan 12 instead of the possibility of a long field goal. Three plays later, Joseph plunged over from one yard out ... Banks is smokin' hot. After picking off three passes in his last two games, he made a spectacular attempt at an interception on Nealon Greene's first toss of the game, intended for Kenton Keith. He tipped and dove and came up with the ball, but just out of bounds ... 'Gades S Quincy Coleman had a sure interception slip through his fingers -- and to Travis Moore -- for Saskatchewan's first big play (44 yards). Coleman made amends in the 14th minute of the second quarter with a pick at midfield.


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