The Edmonton Eskimos were looking for a sweep of the B.C. Lions and with that a spot in the 2019 post season. The team was very flat in last weeks loss to the Hamilton Tiger Cats and they needed to be better if they were going to beat a surging B.C. Lions football team. For the biggest game of the season, the Eskimos would once again be without their starting quarterback, but also their starting running back. After being injured in last weeks game against the Tiger Cats C.J. Gable would not play this week, in his place Shaquille Cooper would get his second start of the season. Meanwhile, the B.C. Lions were on a four game winning streak and looking to keep their slim playoff chances alive.
The Lions would need Mike Reilly to be at the top of his game if they were going to have a chance to win this week. In what was a terrible blow to the team, Reilly was injured on the Lions second offensive series of the game and never returned. Soon afterwards, TSN reported Mike Reilly had broken his wrist and would be gone for this game and likely the rest of the season. That left a couple of back up quarterbacks to lead their team in the biggest game of the year! Offensively, neither team put up a lot of yards but it was the home town Eskimos that made the most of their opportunities.
Edmonton was the only team to find the end zone in the first half, but like they many other times this season, left points on the field. Fortunately for the Eskimos, the Lion offence didn’t get it’s first ‘first down’ until midway through the second quarter and finally got their first points late in the first half to make the score 13-3. The Eskimos responded with a third field goal on the last play of the half to give the home team a 16-3 halftime lead.
The second half only produced six points in total with each team getting a field goal. Both defences controlled the line of scrimmage making it difficult for either team to establish any kind of rhythm on offence. The way the Lions lost was a tough way for their season to end, but from an Eskimo standpoint I don’t think any of the players cared how they won…just that they did win! With the injury to Reilly, not a single starting quarterback in the league will have started every game. Mike Reilly was the closest, but that came crashing to a halt midway through the first quarter of Friday night’s game!
The Eskimos head into the bye week with the final playoff spot locked up and back-to-back games against the Roughriders left in the regular season. While the Eskimos still have a mathematical chance to overtake Saskatchewan for third place, it would require the Eskimos ‘win out’ and the Roughriders ‘lose out’. The odds of that are slim as the Roughriders are in Vancouver to take on the Lions who just lost their starting quarterback.