Monday, November 09, 2015

Are the Ottawa REDBLACKS for real!!?

Veteran Henry Burris never doubted his ability, despite age not being on his side at this point in his career.

Burris threw for six touchdowns and set a single-season record for completions and the Ottawa RedBlacks clinched first place in the East Division with a 44-28 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.

Burris finished the day with 28 pass completions to give him 481 on the season. It broke the old record of 479 set by Ricky Ray with the Edmonton Eskimos back in 2005.

"I've always felt in my heart that I still have it," said the 40-year old pivot.

"I'm not doing anything different than I did last year, I think the thing for me is I never stopped believing in what I could do. I knew I still had the physical ability and the mental toughness to get the job done, and I've been put in the right situation to get the job done."

Ottawa's Greg Ellingson caught three touchdown passes from his quarterback.

Burris set the record with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brad Sinopoli early in the fourth quarter to give the RedBlacks a 37-26 lead. He then added to the record on his first pass of the next Ottawa series, connecting with Ellingson for a 43-yard gain.

Seconds later Burris threw his sixth touchdown pass of the afternoon as Chris Williams converted a 24-yard catch and run score. The conversion by Chris Milo gave the RedBlacks a 44-28 lead.

A win or a loss by less than six points would have given Ottawa the East Division regular-season crown.

The victory means the RedBlacks, who were 2-16 in their inaugural season a year ago, will host the East Final in two weeks. They will play the winner of next weekend's East semifinal between Hamilton and Toronto.

"Everybody's excited. It's big for the city, it's big for this team to get first place overall," said Ellingson, who had 152 yards receiving to become the fourth RedBlacks receiver this season to go over 1,000 yards — along with Sinopoli, Williams and Ernest Jackson.

"We're proud of this accomplishment but not satisfied," said RedBlacks coach Rick Campbell, before adding: "We're always proud of individual accomplishments but the one we like the most is we had the most wins in the East. We're going to play good teams from here on out and we're just going to keep trying to get better."

Ellingson agreed with his coach about individual accomplishments.

"It's not as important as the success we've had as a team," he said. "Getting 12 wins is huge and first place in the East is way bigger than any milestone I may have myself, but it does feel good to get there."
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