Eskimos seek third straight win against streaking Argonauts
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - After winning just one of the first 10 games on the schedule this year, the Edmonton Eskimos find themselves celebrating a two-game win streak as they prepare for the arrival of the Toronto Argonauts to Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.
Edmonton, which is all alone at the bottom of the West Division standings, having lost all six matchups against division foes, has shown signs of life recently by first taking out Winnipeg by a convincing 25-7 score back on Sept. 14, and then slipping by those same Blue Bombers six days later in overtime, 35-27.
Trailing by 16 points in the third quarter, the Eskimos turned to kicker Hugh O'Neill who knocked through three field goals in the second half, four overall. The last of those made field goals, a 17-yard try with just 23 seconds left in regulation, came after Kerry Joseph scored a touchdown on a one-yard run.
In the overtime period, it was Hugh Charles who put Edmonton on top with a nine-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Mike Reilly then hit Shamawd Chambers with a two-point conversion to give the visitors a little more breathing room.
Reilly finished the meeting 31-of-46 for 418 yards and one score, while surviving four sacks. Fred Stamps put up game highs of eight receptions and 157 yards, pushing him to the top of the CFL receiving yards list with 978 on 52 grabs. Stamps is also first in the league with nine TD catches, averaging almost 19 yards per reception along the way.
While the Eskimos took advantage of Winnipeg the last few weeks, Toronto is also riding a hot streak made up of three straight victories. Last Saturday, the Argos earned a season split versus Calgary with a 33-27 road win. Still battling without an injured Chad Owens, Toronto followed the lead set by quarterback Zach Collaros who threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, picking himself off the ground after four sacks.
Andre Durie, who was credited with two rushing attempts for 17 yards, caught a game-high nine passes for 64 yards and a major in the triumph. For his efforts, Durie was named the league's top Canadian player of the week, while Collaros claimed CFL Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Collaros, who has taken over the Toronto offense after Ricky Ray went down with an injury, has now thrown eight TDs in the last four games and has 12 on the season overall. His 68.4 percent accuracy picks up where Ray left off, although the latter was hitting targets at a staggering 78.3 percent before taking a seat on the sidelines.
Durie may lead the Argos in receptions (69) and receiving yards (733), but he's still notched just two receiving touchdowns, six behind John Chiles who has at least one TD in four straight games while making the most of his 37 catches on the campaign.
While Durie is a key figure in the passing attack for the Argonauts, Stamps is still grabbing most of the headlines for Edmonton. Although, Nate Coehoorn continues to register key receptions for the Eskimos. Coehoorn has registered 33 catches thus far, but somehow he has been kept out of the end zone, something that needs to change moving forward.
During Week 8 these teams clashed at Rogers Centre, with the host Argos slipping by in a 36-33 decision, even as Edmonton outscored the home team 17-3 in the final period. Ray was the quarterback of record for Toronto back then, converting all but five of his 35 pass attempts for 413 yards and three touchdowns, while Collaros also threw a 45-yard TD pass to Alexander Robinson early in the first quarter.
Reilly countered for the Esks, throwing for a staggering 511 yards and three TDs on 35-of-46 efficiency. Stamps stole some of the spotlight as he turned his six receptions into a game-high 172 yards and a score.
Despite the win, Toronto still trails in the all-time series by a count of 45-39-1, taking into consideration only regular-season meetings going back to 1961. The Eskimos have won seven of the last nine matchups between the squads.
09/25 10:43:26 ET