Saturday, October 10, 2015
ESKIMOS 15 STAMPEDERS 11
The Edmonton Eskimos pulled even with the Calgary Stampeders at 11-4 atop the division with a 15-11 win over their provincial rival Saturday at McMahon Stadium.
Both teams assured a playoff game at home with three games remaining in the regular season, and it's now a matter of which Alberta city gets the division final Nov. 22 and which gets the division semifinal Nov. 15.
With their second win in a row against Calgary and their first at McMahon since 2011, the Eskimos take the season series against the Stampeders 2-1. That is the tiebreaker should both clubs have the same record at the regular season's conclusion.
"There have been scenarios in the past where teams clinch pretty early, with almost a month left,'' Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly said.
"That's not the case right now. We know for the next three weeks, if we take care of business on our end then nothing else matters and there's nothing any other team can do about it. That's a good situation to be in, but we've still got to go and get it done.''
Calgary has games remaining against Toronto, Saskatchewan and B.C., while Edmonton finishes against B.C, Saskatchewan and Montreal.
The Eskimos were winners of five in a row for the first time since 2011 when they opened 5-0. The Stampeders suffered their first loss in eight home games this season.
"It's a big game, don't get me wrong,'' Edmonton head coach Chris Jones said. "We've had so much trouble beating them in years past. It's good to be able to come to their place where we haven't had a lot of success in a long time and win the football game.''
Edmonton has held the defending Grey Cup champions to 16 points or less in their three meetings this season. The Eskimos improved to 9-1 when holding opponents to 19 or less. Punt singles by Maver and Whyte were the only points of the second half.
"Hats off to the Stampeders, but we fought the hardest,'' Eskimos defensive lineman Odell Willis said. "The team with the most heart, that's who's going to come out victorious and today we had the most heart.''
Notes - Stampeders offensive lineman Dan Federkeil suffered a pulled hamstring in the fourth quarter ... Calgary's win streak halted at three games.