The Edmonton Eskimos unveiled there new third jersey on Friday night, and as Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor pointed out, perhaps they might have wanted to change back into the green ones at half time. An Eskimo team in yellow just couldn't put the points on the board, nor could they control the Stampeder attack in the featured game for TSN's Friday Night football.
The Calgary Stampeders still smarting from the Labour Day hit at McMahon came up to Edmonton and decided to show the Esks and their fans that Calgary still knew how to hit, how to catch and how to score.
Ricky Ray struggled for the Esks as he uncharacteristically tossed interceptions to willing Stampeder defenders. The Stamp front line managed to keep pressure on Ray for most of the game and the Stampeder special teams played inspiring football as well, shutting down the Eskimo return game. The Stamps did a remarkable job of holding off the Esks on the way to a 16-11 victory at Commonwealth.
Calgary's major did not come off of the hand of QB Henry Burris however, as Burris was on the sidelines having his hand taped, Jason Gesser the rookie QB for the Stamps took the controls for a brief Burris intermission and promptly manufactured the only Stampeder TD of the game a nice little hitch pass to KenYo Rambo, who rambled for the thirty yard touchdown play.
After that it was a Stampeder defensive effort that controlled the play. The Stamps kept the sluggish Esks out of the endzone until the last thirty seconds when Ricky Ray finally found an Eskimo receiver that would pull in the difficult pass for a touchdown. Without that last minute TD, the Esks were destined to go down to a 16-3 defeat, so the extra eight points while helpful for the stat sheets still weren't enough to secure an Eskie win.
The Stamps take the victory and keep pace with the Esks for second place overall in the West Division and add some breathing room between themselves and the Saskatchewan Roughriders who still have designs on a second place finish in the West. The victory provided coach Tom Higgins with a nice present as he returned back to Commonwealth for the first time since being dismissed by the Green and Gold last year. The win on Friday night was one of those pivotal results that will certainly spur the Stamps on down to the final weeks of the season.
With another win under their belt the Stamps are still in the race in the West and in a worst case scenario sit in pretty good shape for any possible crossover possibilities in the suddenly back down to earth Eastern Division.
For Edmonton it's a week of fixing some problems and resting some weary and beat up bones. The back to back games between these two Alberta rivals take their toll over the years and this one is no different than many others. With the BC Lions putting more and more distance between themselves and the pretenders for the West this year, Edmonton had best start thinking of holding on to second place, Calgary served notice that they plan on fighting the good fight through until November!