Roughriders on record run
“It gives you a little bit of bragging rights around the league,” he said. “Your friends are going to be calling and I know the guys in the locker- room are going to be messing around with me.
“It was a real team victory today. The of- fence played well, and so did the defence and special teams. There is nothing more you can ask for — a complete team victory.”
Edmonton tied a dubious record of its own with their sixth- straight loss. It is only the second time in team history that the Eskimos have gone 1- 7 to start a season, the last being in 1971.
Edmonton has now lost its last four games by a combined score of 12 points and the frustration level is peaking.
“It’s tough, very frustrating,” said receiver Fred Stamps, who reeled in a pair of TD passes. “We feel like we’re so close. It’s frightening.
“It’s tough because we’re so hungry. I don’t know. We’re right there, we’re right there.” Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed agreed. “With the game we played, we should have beat arguably the best team in the league,” he said. “We just couldn’t finish it off again.”
Edmonton got on the board on its first possession, as newcomer Hugh O’Neill kicked a 46- yard field goal. The Riders responded on their first drive with a 27- yard field goal by Chris Milo to make it 3- 3, a score that stood up to the end of the first quarter.
Milo opened up the second frame with a 36yard field goal to put Saskatchewan up 6- 3.
The Eskimos recorded the game’s first touchdown three minutes into the second quarter as quarterback Mike Reilly spotted Stamps wide open in the end zone for a 33- yard score. Stamps also recorded two major milestones in the game, moving into fourth on Edmonton’s all- time receptions list and into fifth for team receiving yards.
The Eskimos defence continued to come up big in the first half to keep Saskatchewan from crossing the goal- line, but Milo was able to add a pair of late field goals to edge his team into a 12- 10 lead at the midmark.
The Riders added to their lead in brokenrecord fashion to start the third quarter as Milo had his fifth field goal of the game to put Saskatchewan up 15- 10.
Edmonton regained the lead just past the mid- point of the third quarter as Reilly found Stamps for his second TD reception as the veteran receiver slid to make a 21- yard catch in the end zone to put the Eskimos up 17- 15.
Saskatchewan bounced back with three minutes to play in the third as Sheets propelled his team down the field with a couple of big gains before making the Edmonton defence look hapless as he slipped past three tacklers for a 10- yard TD run to put the Riders up 22- 17.
Two minutes later the lead see- sawed back in Edmonton’s favour as a 41- yard passing play to Marcus Henry set up a 13- yard Reilly pass for a TD to Cary Koch to put the Eskimos back in front 24- 22. It was the sixth lead change of the game, league- high for this season.
Edmonton increased its lead to five points on a 42- yard field goal from O’Neill with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Once again Saskatchewan jumped back in front with eight minutes to play as Sheets easily knifed through the Eskimos defence for an 18- yard touchdown and a 29- 27 Riders lead.
Edmonton looked like it was going to retake the lead after a huge 35- yard catch by Koch took the Eskimos to the two- yard line with six minutes to play. However, backup Kerry Joseph bobbled a snap to put them back to the five and then Reilly was picked off in the end zone by Dwight Anderson. Saskatchewan ended up with a punt single from the turnover to lead 30- 27.
“We just kept in the game and kept in the moment,” Anderson said. “We just didn’t get flustered. We just knew that we needed to keep going out there and come up with a big play to give our offence a chance to win it.”
With just over a minute to play, the Esks were mounting one final drive. However, Reilly was crushed for a sack and fumbled the ball, with Rider Ricky Foley recovering.
— The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Kory Sheets reaches out to break the plane in the end zone for a TD against the Eskimos Saturday.
Saskatchewan’s Dwight Anderson celebrates his interception against the Eskimos.