Dominique Davis had a lot on his plate last night. He was making his debut as Ottawa Redblacks' starting quarterback. He probably felt the weight of having to replace Trevor Harris, who got off to an amazing start in his new CFL home in Edmonton. Davis was also trying to do something none of his predecessors had ever done - win a football game in Calgary. Did I mention Calgary is the defending Grey Cup Champion?
Talk about Davis vs Goliath. Just like the story in the bible, the underdog came out slinging, sometimes wildly, and upset the giant.
Davis and the Redblacks scored an impressive 32-28 win over the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday. It was a glitchy Ottawa performance as David tossed four interceptions, and there could have been more. Calgary converted the first 3 into touchdowns, almost immediately. If Davis learned nothing else from this game, it's not to throw to Tre Roberson's side of the field. Roberson finished the night with 3 picks for Calgary.
Davis and the Redblacks were resilient all night. After every big Calgary play, Ottawa got up, dusted themselves off and went right back to work. Davis ran for three touchdowns, and completed 29-of-44 passes for 276 yards. "We did a good job of responding every time I turned it over," Davis said.
Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell moved past Ottawa Rough Riders' legend Russ Jackson for all time passing yards. Mitchell threw a hail mary at the end of the game to a double covered Michael Klukas in the end zone. It was picked off by Jonathan Rose to preserve Ottawa's victory. The Redblacks' D has never been able to stifle a Mitchell-led offence like they did last night in Calgary. Mitchell threw one long TD strike strike to Juwan Brescacin but everything else was pretty much short, ineffective passing, and the Redblacks impressive defence was usually right there to make receivers pay a price.
I was expecting to be making apologies for the Redblacks' season opener. It's too early to judge them, there were too many changes in the offseason, still trying to get on the same page, and that was a tough opponent last night.
Instead, it's Calgary saying all those things today.