With the Edmonton Oilers first overall pick, Taylor Hall, in attendance, the Edmonton Eskimos started their season with a 25-10 lose to the B.C. Lions on a rainy Sunday night at Commonwealth Stadium.
The first points weren’t scored until 14:56 of the first quarter when Paul McCallum kicked the ball through the uprights from 44 yards to give the lions a 3-0 lead. McCallum added another in the second. The first touchdown was scored at 9:16 in the second when running back Jammal Roberson took a 61 yard run down the sideline to the endzone to make it 13-0.
The Esks got on the board after Arkee Whitlock punched in a touchdown from the B.C. 4 yard line with 1:31 left in the half. The extra point made it 13-7 Lions.
In the Third, the Esks and Lions traded field goals to make it 16-10. The final came from 3 more triples by B.C. to make the final 25-10.
Rickey Ray was not himself tonight. He was in the way that he made his little 4-6 yard dump passes. But when a receiver further down field was open, we struggled to deliver a good ball. He only manged to throw for 229 yards and make 27 completions out of 40 attempts. Though, it doesn’t help when you have a quarterback that doesn’t run or scramble, and the pocket keeps closing in on him. 5 sacks were given up and pressure was delivered on many occasions.
The Eskimos offence was puzzling to me. There was a time when the Eskies were 2nd and 11 and decided to run the ball. They were nowhere close to the first down. Also, in history they have had success when they use the long ball, but didn’t pull it out nearly enough. Finish was also a big problem.
Kelly Campbell had a decent return to the CFL racking up 75 yard of receiving on 8 attempts.
The pass coverage was good for the Esks, but the run defense was less then stellar, allowing 194 yards, 168 of them belonging to Jammal Roberson. His 61 yard run was a turning point in the game. I think they could use some form tackling drills during practice this week, as that was not their strong suit. Though on a more positive spin, they only allowed one touchdown.
The new field turf also made its regular season debut, which like the Eskimos, was not great. Players slipped with room to run which contributed to the overall sloppiness of this game.
Montreal makes a visit to Commonwealth next Saturday.
Thanks for reading,
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Written by Mike Wilson