It was the long awaited return of Mike Reilly in Edmonton. By long I mean fans had to sit through one Reilly-less game before he returned to Edmonton as a part of the the visiting squad’s offence. It was no secret that the Eskimos D-Line was licking their chops to get a piece of Reilly in game action after years of practicing against him without being able to touch him, they were ready to get at it. Get at it they did, by the time the night was over the Eskimo defence had sacked Mike Reilly 7 times, as well as early on they took a few roughing the passer penalties. They wanted him and they got him by the time the night was through.
The pressure seemed to be too much for Reilly to handle this game as he completed only 51% of his passes for 149 yards. Take that in comparison to Trevor Harris who threw 294 yards with a 75% completion rate, more in line with the numbers Eskimo fans are used to seeing Reilly put out. Though this time nobody cheering for the green and gold were disappointed by Reilly’s lack-luster night. After a nice ovation for the long time Eskimo quarterback it was all business, and the Eskimo’s came to show that they mean business this season.
Though they came one quarter late, after one quarter the Lions were up 11-3, and before the Eskimos scored their first touchdown of the game the score was 17-3 for the Orange and Black squad. down by two touchdowns the Esks had their work cut out for them but the made it seem easy. The Eskimos scored a field goal to make the game 17-6 then the defence forced BC into a 2 and out to get the ball back quickly for the Eskimos. Then on the ensuing possession, the Eskimo offence put together a 7-play drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Harris to Smith. With the successful PAT the Eskimos drew within one major from tying the game up. Score 17-13 Lions
On the first play after the Eskimo kick off, Reilly’s pass was intercepted by Glass and put the Eskimo’s offence back on the field. it took another 7 plays and 3 first downs and the Eskimo’s were quickly back in the end zone, Harris connecting this time with Ellingson. Giving Ellingson his first touchdown as a member of the Eskimo’s.
The Lions would start the 3rd qaurter with the ball but the Eskimo’s defence only allowed them to manage a field goal from the 43 yard line on 3rd and 10. Once the Eskimo Offence recovered the ball their was no stopping them, they put together a nice 10 play drive that resulted in their third straight touchdown. Harris scored the TD on a 1 yard quarterback sneak to put the home side up 7. 27-20.
Before the 3rd quarter was complete the Eskimo’s put together one more drive that ended with Harris throwing a long ball from the BC 54 yard Line to Ellingson, who caught the ball at the 17 Yard line then rumbled into the end zone for another touchdown to put the Eskimos up 34-23 going into the 4th quarter.
The 4th quarter is when the Eskimo defence went to work. Though BC managed one more field goal before the night was over, 5 of Edmonton’s 7 QB Sacks came in the 4th quarter. They were all over Reilly not allowing the BC Offence any sort of hope. They dismantled the BC Offence and made it look easy. After winning against Montreal a team people all knew was going to be bad, the Lions were the first big test for the Eskimo’s and they delivered in a big way. It is very possible that if they keep up this level of play and work on reducing their penalties they will be not only a threat for first in the West but a legitimate grey Cup contender come November.
Thursday June 27 @ Winnipeg. Kick-off at 6:30 MST. Both teams are undefeated so look for it to be a very entertaining contest, as they battle it out for first in the West.