Eskimos grab last playoff spot with 19-6 win over B.C.
EDMONTON — It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but Edmonton Eskimos head coach Jason Maas will take it.
Shaquille Cooper rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown to help Edmonton beat the B.C. Lions, 19-6, on Saturday night and clinch the Canadian Football League’s last remaining playoff berth. The Eskimos improved to 8-8 after winning for just the second time in their last seven outings, while the Lions drop to 5-11 after seeing their four-game win streak halted with B.C.’s first loss since Sept. 6.
“We’re in and that’s the most important thing,” said Maas.
“I said at the beginning of the year our first goal is to get close and we checked that box, our second goal is to make the playoffs and we checked that one now.
“So it’s about getting healthy now and playing better football.”
The Lions were officially eliminated from post-season contention with the loss at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.
B.C. also lost quarterback Mike Reilly, who leads the CFL in passing yards, after he was hurt early in the first quarter with what was revealed as a broken left wrist.
Danny O’Brien took over under centre for the veteran allstar and former Eskimos QB, whose season is likely over. Reilly was the lone CFL quarterback to have made every start for his team this season.
“It’s tough to see him go down,” said Maas, whose team won all three of its meetings with the Lions this season.