Have mercy!

Reilly and Co. take it to Red­blacks on way to snap­ping three-game los­ing streak

Winnipeg Sun - - SPORTS - GERRY MOD­DE­JONGE

ED­MON­TON — There was no sign of the flu that kept Mike Reilly away from the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos’ walk­through prac­tice a day ear­lier.

But what was ob­vi­ous on Satur­day was the Cana­dian Foot­ball League-lead­ing quar­ter­back was sick and tired of los­ing.

Reilly pow­ered the Eski­mos to a 34-16 win over the Ottawa Red­blacks in front of 27,163 at Com­mon­wealth Sta­dium, mark­ing an end to a three­game los­ing streak that be­gan in Ottawa on Sept. 22.

The quar­ter­back com­pleted 31 of 38 passes for 369 yards and one touch­down, a 75-yarder to Bryant Mitchell on his way to a game-high 190 yards on 13 re­cep­tions.

Trevor Harris com­pleted 21 of 26 passes for 291 yards, a touch­down and an in­ter­cep­tion for the Red­blacks, who fell to 8-7 on the sea­son while re­main­ing in first place in the East Di­vi­sion.

The win drew the Eski­mos back to an even 8-8 on the year, as they jockey for play­off po­si­tion­ing with the B.C. Lions and Win­nipeg Blue Bombers, both of whom Ed­mon­ton will wind out the reg­u­lar sea­son against in their re­main­ing two games.

Fol­low­ing a 32-yard field goal by rookie kicker sen­sa­tion Lewis Ward, who pushed his record streak to 41 straight, the Eski­mos scored their first touch­down in what amounted to 10 quar­ters, two min­utes and 21 sec­onds worth of foot­ball, when Martese Jack­son ran it in from 13 yards out with 2:45 to go in the open­ing quar­ter.

The first frame ended with Bryant Mitchell hav­ing the ball stripped from his arms by Red­blacks de­fen­sive back Devin But­ler.

But Ed­mon­ton’s de­fence held firm, forc­ing Ottawa to set­tle for a 16-yard field goal to open the sec­ond quar­ter.

It wasn’t in­stant re­play, but might as well have been, af­ter Reilly hit league-lead­ing re­ceiver Duke Wil­liams for his first catch of the game on a 16-yard con­nec­tion, only to have Jonathon Rose force a fum­ble that Jean-phillipe Bolduc re­cov­ered.

A sack by Kwaku Boateng for his team-lead­ing ninth on the sea­son re­sulted in an­other field goal by Ward from the ex­act same dis­tance as his pre­vi­ous one to give Ottawa its sec­ond lead of the game, 9-7.

The Red­blacks be­gan to pull away when Dionte Spencer came up with a 61-yard catch and run to the end zone to make it 16-7.

It was the first of­fen­sive touch­down the Eski­mos al­lowed since the first half of a 30-3 loss to the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers on Sept. 29, a run of seven quar­ters, 12 min­utes and 24 sec­onds.

It ap­peared the Eski­mos had an­swered back with a 37-yard field goal by Sean Whyte, only to be granted a fresh set of downs af­ter Rose was flagged for con­tact­ing the kicker.

That led to a three-yard

touch­down run by C.J. Gable to cap a 12-play, 80-yard drive to send it into half­time trail­ing Ottawa 16-14.

Af­ter Wil­liams was un­able to hang onto a ball he brought down at the back of the end zone, Ed­mon­ton re­claimed the lead, 17-16, on a 15-yard field goal, be­fore open­ing the fi­nal frame with an­other three points from 40 yards out.

Af­ter al­ready putting up 115 yards on a dozen catches, Bryant Mitchell got in be­hind the cov­er­age for a 75-yard catch and run to the end zone to put it out of reach with half a quar­ter to go.

Ed­mon­ton’s de­fence came up with back-to-back sacks by de­fen­sive tack­les Al­mondo Sewell and Jake Ceresna to end one Ottawa drive, be­fore an in­ter­cep­tion by safety Neil King on a wob­bly Harris of­fer­ing ended an­other.

LARRY WONG/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Ottawa Red­blacks line­backer Jean-philippe Bolduc seem­ingly pleads with Eski­mos wide re­ceiver Bryant Mitchell to go easy on him dur­ing last night’s game in Ed­mon­ton. The hosts snapped a three-game los­ing streak.

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