The last time the Edmonton Eskimos and the Toronto Argonauts played one another, it was a very lopsided 26-0 win for the Eskimos. Coming off a bye week, the Argonauts were well rested and looking for a little redemption after being shut out in Edmonton three weeks ago. The Eskimos needed to win this game if they were going to keep pace with Winnipeg who defeated the B.C. Lions on Thursday night. McLeod Bethel-Thompson got the start again after leading his team to their first win of the season against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers two weeks ago.
For the Argos to have any chance to win this game, they would have to improve on the nine first quarter points they have scored the entire season. The Eskimos on the other hand, had something to prove on offence as their red zone efficiency is one of the worst in the league! While the Toronto offence had some success moving the ball against the Eskimos in the first half, they could not find the end zone. In four trips into Edmonton territory, all the Argonaut offence could manage was four field goals. The Edmonton offence was much more productive in their efforts as their four trips into Argonaut territory. They resulted in three touchdowns and a field goal which translated into a 24-12 half time lead for the visitors.
The Eskimos got the ball to start the second half (won the coin toss – deferred) but the offence stumbled in the third quarter. The Argonauts had a few wrinkles for the Eskimo defence when they came out for the third quarter. On Toronto’s first possession, they drove 83 yards on nine plays ending with a one yard touchdown pass to S.J. Green to get the Argonauts to within five points (24-19). The Eskimos offence finally got back on track in the final five minutes of the third quarter. They took advantage of excellent field position around midfield and drove 56 yards in six plays to restore the 12 point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Heading into the final quarter, the Eskimos were looking to use a ball control offence to secure the win. That would be a challenge as Edmonton only had 30 yards rushing at the end of the third quarter. One of the most exciting things about the CFL is how quickly the game can change. After taking a 34-19 lead on a Sean Whyte 13 yard field goal, the Argonaut offence immediately drove the ball 75 yards in two plays to make it a one score game again with over 9 minutes left. There was still plenty of time for the Argonauts to complete the comeback, but the Eskimo defence tuned up the heat and stymied the Toronto offence like they did in the first half. The Eskimos then turned to C.J. Gable and a hard nosed running game to secure the win.