Eskimos seek end to lengthy skid in bout with Stampeders
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - The struggling Edmonton Eskimos will again shoot for not only their first win against a division opponent this season, but also their first home victory of 2013, as they entertain the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night.
Edmonton, which has won only one game this season, placing it a distant fourth place in the West Division standings, has played some close games in recent weeks, but close doesn't count in the CFL, or anywhere else for that matter. The Eskimos put together a late charge against Calgary on Monday, posting 27 points in the final quarter, but still the team suffered the 37-34 setback.
During the first two games of this current seven-game slide, Edmonton lost by double digits to British Columbia in consecutive weeks, but since then the Esks have made things very interesting to say the least. In fact, the team has bowed by no more than five points in any one game and has lost by a combined 15 points in the last five outings.
After falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter and 37-7 early in the fourth, Mike Reilly brought the Eskimos back with four touchdown passes in a span of about five minutes, each major going to a different receiver. Reilly finished the meeting just 16-of-35 for 246 yards and two interceptions, not to mention being sacked six times.
Reilly also accounted for a team-best 58 yards rushing on seven attempts, while backup quarterback Kerry Joseph scored the first points of the game for Edmonton in the second quarter on a two-yard TD run.
While Reilly and the Esks were frantically trying to put together an epic comeback, Calgary was capturing a second straight win and the sixth in the last seven outings in order to settle into second place in the division standings, just two points off the pace set by Saskatchewan.
Kevin Glenn started at quarterback for the Stamps, hitting all but three of his 11 pass attempts for 108 yards and a score, but he left the game against Edmonton midway through the second quarter after being stepped on by one of his own offensive linemen. Glenn did not return to action, leaving Bo Levi Mitchell to assume control of the offense.
Mitchell stepped in and converted 11-of-18 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, adding another score on the ground on one of his four rushing attempts.
Maurice Price, who caught what proved to be the decisive score in the fourth quarter, a 66-yard TD pass play, finished the meeting with five receptions for 165 yards and three majors for the hosts.
Giving Calgary a lift on the defensive side of the ball was Fred Bennett who registered a pair of interceptions for a team that entered the ninth game of the season as the second-best club in the CFL in terms of turnover margin, with a plus-13.
Reilly, who now has 10 picks thrown on the season, is one of the league leaders in terms of passing yards with 2,277, completing 60.4 percent of his attempts, but still he needs to be consistent for a full 60 minutes in order to keep Edmonton from falling into the loss column yet again.
Unfortunately for Reilly and the Esks, going up against one of the toughest pass defenses in the CFL, the Stamps having given up just 245.1 ypg through the air over the course of eight games, is not necessarily a good sign for the home team this time around.
With the victory on Monday, Calgary has now taken six straight meetings with the Eskimos and 12 of the last 14 regular-season matchups as well. However, dating back to 1949, it is Edmonton that owns a 123-87-3 advantage in the all- time series.
09/04 11:00:33 ET