Ottawa Rough Riders

- 1996 -

3 Wins 15 Losses - 4th Place East Division

East: W L T F A   Most Outstanding Player Doug Flutie (Tor)
Toronto 15 3 0 556 359   Most Outstanding Canadian Leroy Blugh (Edm)
Montreal 12 6 0 534 469   Most Outstanding Defensive Player Willie Pless (Edm)
Hamilton 8 10 0 426 576   Most Outstanding Lineman Mike Kiselak (Tor)
Ottawa 3 15 0 353 524   Most Outstanding Rookie Kelvin Anderson (Cgy)
            Coach of the Year Ron Lancaster (Edm)
West:                
Calgary 13 5 0 608 365   Playoffs Ham 11 @ Mtl 22
Edmonton 11 7 0 459 354     Wpg 7 @ Edm 68
Winnipeg 9 9 0 421 496     Mtl 7 @ Toronto 43
Saskatchewan 5 13 0 360 498     Edm 15 @ Cgy 12
BC 5 13 0 410 486   Grey Cup Toronto 43 Edmonto 37

 

David Archer arrived to be the white knight for Ottawa in 1996

 

August 30, 1996 - Frank Clair Stadium

Ottawa 17 - Montreal 6

Attendance: 28,451

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With the Ottawa Rough Riders franchise facing the threat of extinction the club met the Montreal Alouettes at Frank Clair Stadium on a summer evening on August 30, 1996. One night in a season or decade or generation of franchise blunders that had left a public with little to cheer or care about from the team. On that night in October 28,451 paying customers came to pay tribute to a 120 year old Canadian sports institution that was facing extinction. The beleaguered team responded to the support to give the city one final glowing moment before fading into history. Facing a supremely talented Alouette team with both Mike Pringle and Elfrid Payton returned from NFL camps the outlook was not good. The team responded for the city and deafening cheers that night proved undeniably what football could be in that city. What follows is an article from Tim Harper of the Toronto Star on that night in Ottawa:

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Excerpted - Tim Harper - Ottawa Bureau - Toronto Star - October 15, 1996

OTTAWA - Kieran Marks got to stay up late last night. And although the sense of history may have been lost on the 10-week-old infant, it was paramount in the minds of his father Mitch Marks, a young man who grew up with the Ottawa Rough Riders when a late summer night at old Lansdowne Park was a way of life here.

"Just in case this is it, I wanted my son to be able to come to a game here," Marks said.

"This could be his first and his last" said Kieran's mother Janice Marks.

There was no mistaking the sense of occasion as the Rough Riders took on the Montreal Alouettes.

With a 120-year tradition in its death throes, football fans in the national capital responded. So did the Riders, who scored a 17-6 victory over the Alouettes before 28,451 cheering, chanting fans - better than double the season average. They finally flocked to the stadium to watch a team which has won nine Grey Cups but is no longer a part of the fabric of the city.

They know no one is crying wolf anymore and on a gorgeous late summer evening they flocked to the park out of a sense of fear, nostalgia, the inherent drama of the possibility that this would be the last kickoff ever.

In some cases they came out of guilt.

But as they rose as one to salute their team as it took the field in its most desperate hour, there were unmistakable realities at play. Even the most enthusiastic among them were staying away from predictions that this team would ever play again.

Many were old friends of the team who had drifted away only to return sheepishly, the way one would skulk into a hospital upon learning a long lost friend was near the end.

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Quarterback David Archer hit Wayne Walker for a 33 yard touchdown strike with 1:23 remaining in the first half for the decisive points in the 17-6 victory. The fans cheered their team and the Rough Riders responded. While the enthusiasm for the club would fizzle out for the season and the team ultimately fold at the end of the year-the late August night in Ottawa provided a lasting image and lasting victory for the Rough Rider fans in attendance that night.

 

James Ellingson hauls in a Touchdown pass

 

1996 Team Statistics

 

Quarterback

  Passing           Rushing    
Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg C Yds Avg Lg TD
David Archer 523 292 3,977 55.8 23 17 90 38 143 3.8 14 0
Steve Taylor 132 70 977 53.0 3 13 55 25 196 7.8 24 2

 

Running Back

  Rushing         Receiving  
C Yds Avg Lg TD C Yds Avg Lg TD
Dave Dinnall 54 449 8.3 69 4 7 105 15.0 42 0
Profail Grier 53 255 4.8 38 1 7 57 8.1 17 0
Troy Mills 39 139 3.6 19 1 20 258 12.9 40 0
Andre Bolduc 32 121 3.8 15.0 0 32 287 9.0 24 1
Reggie Barnes 26 96 3.7 13 0 16 101 6.3 15 0

 

Receiver

  Receiving       Punt Return  
C Yds Avg Lg TD No Yds Avg Lg TD
Joseph Rogers 79 1253 15.9 90 8          
Robert Gordon 70 1049 15.0 55 8 15 55 3.7 12 0
Billy Hess 22 327 14.9 35 1          
Willie Hinchcliff 17 368 21.6 46 1          
James Ellingson 16 208 13.0 35 1          
Wayne Walker 13 240 18.5 49 3          

 

Kicker

Conv     Field Goal      
A G % A G % LG Pts
Wayne Lammle 35 35 100% 31 18 58% 55 107

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Clair Stadium

Avg Att: 16,847

 

Week 1 @ Hamilton

HAMILTON 35,

Ottawa 23

Att: 19149

QB Matt Dunigan passed for more than 400 yards and three TDs in his successful Hamilton debut. Rider QB David Archer, the first pick in the dispersal draft, threw for more than 360 yards.

 

Week 2 v. Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan 29,

OTTAWA 14

Att: 10125

The announced crowd was the worst turnout since Lansdowne Park was reconfigured in the 1950s. Robert Mimbs and Peter Tuipulotu scored fourth-quarter TDs for Saskatchewan.

 

Week 3 v BC

OTTAWA 32,

British Columbia 31

Att: 13489

Joseph Roger's 5-yard TD with 18 seconds left gave the troubled Riders a dramatic come-from-behind win, as Lui Passaglia's 51-yard FG attempt with no time remaining fell short.

 

Week 4 @ Toronto

TORONTO 34,

Ottawa 4

Att: 17288

Doug Flutie threw two TD passes and ran for another as the Argonauts extended the Riders' club-record road losing

 

Week 5 v. Edmonton

Edmonton 34,

OTTAWA 18

Att: 13323

With the Riders on the road for the next two weeks, the team is facing a critical cash flow problem, while new team president Jim Durrell called this loss "a disgraceful performance".

 

Week 6 @ Edmonton

EDMONTON 30,

Ottawa 2

Att: 25773

The Riders have now lost 16 straight road games, as QB David Archer was sacked seven times. Edmonton QB Danny McManus threw three TDs and completed 19 passes for 301 yards.

 

Week 7 @ Winnipeg

WINNIPEG 31,

Ottawa 27

Att: 25219

Winnipeg RB Michael Richardson carried 0 times for 120 yards, as the Bombers needed 52 minutes to overtake the Riders, moving ahead on a 55-yard pass from Kent Austin to Eric Guliford.

 

Week 8 v. Toronto

Toronto 42,

OTTAWA 19

Att: 15220

Mike Clemons scored three TDs and caught seven passes for 97 yards to lead the Argos. Doug Flutie completed 22-of-38 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Week 9 @ Toronto

TORONTO 28,

Ottawa 21

Att: 17182

 David Archer threw for 312 yards and three TDs in the troubled Riders' sixth straight loss and 18th consecutive road defeat. Toronto QB Doug Flutie passed for 415 yards and two TDs.

 

Week 10 v Montreal

OTTAWA 17,

Montreal 6

Att: 28451

Ottawa opened up a 17-0 halftime lead that held until the final quarter, when Montreal booted a pair of FGs. The Riders had until Monday to find about $1.6 million to stay solvent

 

Week 11 - Bye

 

Week 12 @ Saskatchewan

Ottawa 18,

SASKATCHEWAN 16

Att: 19567

Two last-minute TDs set up after interceptions of Saskatchewan passes rewarded Ottawa supporters and kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

 

Week 13 v Hamilton

Hamilton 24,

OTTAWA 21

Att: 26813

Hamilton K Paul Osbaldiston booted three unanswered FGs in the final 4:45, the last a 33-yarder into a stiff headwind with no time left on the clock, and kicked eight in all for the win.

 

Week 14 @ Calgary

CALGARY 24,

Ottawa 17

Att: 21607

Kelvin Anderson ran for 77 yards and his 11th TD of the season as the Stamps ended a three-game skid. He scored from four yards to end the third and give the Stamps the lead for good.

 

Week 15 v Calgary

Calgary 31,

OTTAWA 24

Att: 15025

Calgary needed a fourth-quarter TD run by QB Jeff Garcia to hold off the pesky Riders, who tried to rally from an 18-3 deficit, but saw their playoff hopes come to an end.

 

Week 16 v Montreal

Montreal 25,

OTTAWA 18

Att: 14080

Mike Pringle ran for 157 yards and romped for 253 all-purpose yards to lead the Als, while QB Tracy Ham became the CFL's leading career quarterback rusher with 6,763 yards.

 

Week 17 @ Montreal

MONTREAL 39,

Ottawa 25

Att: 18671

Gary Harrell, Anthony Drawhorn, Mike Pringle and Michael Soles scored TDs for the Als, who built a 39-11 lead before surrendering two late TDs. Terry Baker added three FGs.

 

Week 18 v Winnipeg

Winnipeg 30,

OTTAWA 29

Att: 15095

The Bomber defence put up two TDs and Troy Westwood hit a 21-yard FG with 12 seconds remaining to ruin the Riders' last home game.

 

Week 19 @ BC

BRIT COLUMBIA 35,

Ottawa 24

Att: 18308

 Cory Philpot ran for 156 yards and 1 TD as the Lions won a battle of cellar dwellers and the last game for the Ottawa franchise. David Archer threw three TD passes for the Riders.