Sunday, August 29, 2004

Eskimos with the touchdown (repeat 7 times!)

At the start things appeared to be going the Ottawa Renegades way, the Renegades taking the ball and marching down the field to open the scoring with a Touchdown, followed up by a single point when the Eskies bobbled the ensuing kick off. For a minute, it looked like the Rens were going to run rough shod over the Eskimos, but it was really only for a minute.

What followed in the rest of the game can best be described as a dissection. Edmonton was in complete control, as they sent the Rens back home shaking their heads after a 57-16 loss at Commonwealth Stadium.

The Eskimo offence was firing on all cylinders, Mike Pringle was seemingly on course to catch George Reeds touchdown record in one game, he needed six at kickoff time and by the sound of the final gun he, was two away from George. With his 114 yard day he now is only 191 yards away from Reeds other record of 16,116 yards as all time CFL rusher.

Jason Maas, still looking a little unsteady from his early season injuries, none the less had yet another spectacular performance, completing 28 of 32 passes an 80% completion ratio, for a total of 350 yards. Maas played a little pitch and catch at leisure with Jason Tucker, Derell Mitchell and Terry Vaughn, so secure is Maas, that he’s outsourcing his passing. Ed Hervey actually ended up on the stats sheet as the passer of one of Mitchell’s TD’s, putting those old college skills of his to work.

The Eskimo defence wasn’t on the field that much, and when they were the Renegades has some success but not enough to make a difference. Kerry Joseph threw 17 completions on 26 attempts for 347 yards, but tellingly gave up four interceptions in the game and was sacked three times by the charging Eskimo defence. Ottawa lost 9 points on botched field goal attempts, three times Sandro Sciortino sent the ball wide right. If the three attempts had gone through the Rens would still have been within striking distance!

In fact at the half the outcome was still very much in doubt, despite controlling the play on the field, the Esks were not that far ahead on the board at 24-16, those costly missed field goals certainly the tale of the first half.. But as the second half got rolling that would change as Maas led them down the field time and time again able to score at will. By the time the carnage was finished the Eskimos had 31 unanswered points on the board and another two points in the win column.

The win pushes the Esks into second place behind the BC Lions, while Ottawa stays mired in the basement trailing the Tiger Cats for the final playoff spot. Things do not get any easier for the Renegades, league leading Montreal is next up on the schedule Friday night at Frank Clair stadium. They need to turn things around quickly, having lost five of their last six games and watching a streaking Ti Cat team move on ahead of them.

As for the Eskimos, they travel down highway 2 to take on their Alberta rivals the Stamps on Labour Day Monday, judging by the performance of Calgary on Friday against the Ti Cats that could be a very long afternoon for the team in Red and White.

One thing is certain the CFL should send George Reed an airline ticket for
Calgary and have him standing by, Mike Pringle is closing in on those records fast, and it’s not out of the question to expect him to pass George, on both counts next week

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