Coming off the bye week the Eskimos were looking to rebound after a tough loss against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While the offence had more than 400 yards in that game, they failed to find the end zone and had to settle for seven field goals. The offence would have to be much better this week if they were going to defeat the B.C. Lions on the road. This was a huge game for both teams as a win by the Eskimos would give them the season series and the tie breaker should the two teams be tied in the standings at the end of the regular season.
The Eskimo defence was looking to continue to harass Mike Reilly just like they did when the two teams met back in Edmonton. They came out of the gate on fire as they sacked Mike Reilly on the second play from scrimmage. The Eskimos first offensive possession in was in Lions territory and although they had to settle for a field goal to open the scoring, it was a sign of things to come in the first half. Reilly was sacked FIVE times in the first half and if it wasn’t for a Lions defence that kept the Eskimos at bay, the score would have been much worse than 16-3 at half time.
So far in 2019, the Eskimos have been flagged 46 times for 422 yards which is tops in the league in both categories. On Thursday night, it was the Lions that were guilty of undisciplined play that kept Eskimo drives alive and resulted in points. Between the pressure Mike Reilly was under and the penalties, the Lion offence could not get into any kind of rhythm and it showed. Statistically, the game should have been closer, but the Eskimos enjoyed excellent field position the entire first half while the Lions faced a long field most of the time.
When the Eskimos came out for the second half, it was noticed that Trevor Harris was not with his team mates on the sideline. He was hit around the knee late in the second quarter by Odell Willis and was on the ground for some time. Originally, there was a penalty for ‘roughing the passer’, but Devone Claybrooks challenged the play and somehow won! I do not remember the last time a roughing the passer penalty was overturned?! Harris did rejoin his team mates on the sidelined and on the Eskimos first possession of the third quarter hit Nate Adjei for a 77 yard catch and run that made the score 23-3! Harris had a huge third quarter throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns to give the Eskimos a 30-3 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Eskimo defence continued their dominance of the Lions in the second half. While they did not sack Reilly again, they continued to pressure and hit the Lions quarterback. The Lions offence could only muster 210 yards and only had the ball for 25:51. You are not going to win many games in the CFL with those kinds of numbers. The Lions only managed two field goals in this game and while some of credit has to go to the Eskimo defence, the Lion offence was dismal. They did not reach the red zone until the four minute mark of the fourth quarter.
With the Lions looking to score their first touchdown of the game, Mike Reilly scrambled for what appeared to be their first touchdown of the game only to have a holding call nullify it. The Lions ended up kicking a field goal to make the score 30-6 with just over half the fourth quarter remaining. The Eskimo offence turned to the running game and short passing game to run out the clock, but not before Sean Whyte got one more field goal and making the final score 33-6.