Jyles leads Eskimos over Roughriders
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Steven Jyles threw for 282 yards and a touchdown to lead the Edmonton Eskimos to a 28-20 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.
Jyles completed 18-of-23 passes for the Eskimos, who improved to 4-2 to take the top spot in the Western Conference.
Fred Stamps led all Edmonton receivers with seven catches for 82 yards while Hugh Charles carried the ball 14 times for 67 yards.
"I told the guys if we put up a touchdown a quarter our defense will win the ballgame for us," Jyles said. "That's what we did. We put up 28 points and the defense came through."
Darian Durant connected on 24-of-35 passes for 401 yards with two interceptions for Saskatchewan, which fell to 3-3 on the year and third place in the West.
Durant added a 27-yard rushing touchdown and Kory Sheets finished with six receptions and a game-high 138 yards in defeat.
"All of these games are very important so we just have to learn from it, forget about it as quickly as possible and keep moving," said Durant.
Saskatchewan opened the game with an 11-play drive that was capped by Sandro DeAngelis' 28-yard field goal for a quick lead, but Edmonton answered with a 10-play, 58-yard march ending with a Grant Shaw 24-yard kick knotting the game at 3-3.
After the Roughriders were forced to punt, Nathan Coehoorn's 49-yard reception set up Cary Koch's 30-yard touchdown grab near the right sideline on a 2nd- and-23 to give the Eskimos a 10-3 edge with 13:22 left in the second quarter.
Neither team's offense would cross midfield from there until a fluke play allowed the Roughriders to tie the game.
Facing a 1st-and-10 at their own 40-yard line late in the second quarter, Durant zipped a short pass intended for Weston Dressler, who took a big hit just as the ball got to him.
The ball then kicked into the air off Dressler's foot and bounced off the hands of Edmonton's Weldon Brown before Taj Smith corralled it, broke a tackle and raced down the field for a 57-yard gain down to the Eskimos 13.
Two plays later, Drew Willy rumbled up the middle for a one-yard touchdown to send the game into the break tied at 10-10.
The Roughriders then took the lead on their first possession of the second half when a 22-yard catch-and-run by Terence Jeffers-Harris and Sheets' 14- yard run set up a 27-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Durant.
A 41-yard bomb to Matt Carter quickly moved Edmonton down to the Saskatchewan seven-yard line on the ensuing possession, but the Eskimos were forced to settle for Shaw's 17-yard field goal.
However, Edmonton was able to regain the lead just two plays later when Chris Thompson forced a fumble by Dressler on a short pass to the left that was picked up by Joe Burnett and returned 43 yards for a touchdown, giving the Esks a 20-17 advantage with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
"I just hit him as hard as I could and something good happened, so I'm happy with it," said Thompson.
Edmonton added some cushion late in the fourth with a nine-play, 66-yard drive that Calvin McCarty finished off with a six-yard rush to the left side on a 3rd-and-1, dragging two defenders across the goal line with 5:54 left in the game.
Sheets caught a short pass to the left side of the field, cut across to the right and raced down the sideline for a 76-yard gain two plays into the Roughriders' next touch to set up a DeAngelis 17-yard field goal to get within 28-20.
They would get no closer though, as Saskatchewan got the ball back following an Edmonton punt, but J.C. Sherritt intercepted a Durant pass near midfield to end the drive.
The Roughriders would get the ball back at their own four-yard line with about a minute to play following an Eskimos two-and-out, but Durant's Hail Mary attempt as time expired was picked off in the end zone by Thompson.
Eskimos defensive back Ronnie Prude was forced to leave the game in an ambulance after receiving a neck injury during a tackle early in the third quarter...Dressler finished with five catches for 84 yards...Sheets also had 17 carries for 78 yards...Saskatchewan racked up 491 total yards, while Edmonton had 350...Both teams allowed two sacks.
08/11 02:01:32 ET