Two-thirds of the season are in the books for the Eskimos and the position they find themselves isn’t very comfortable in their quest for a playoff spot. Currently the Eskimos sit six points back of the final playoff spot in the Western Division. The best chance for the Eskimos is likely through the Eastern Crossover as the team is tied with the Toronto Argonauts for third place in the Eastern Division. Losers of three straight games the Eskimos return to The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night to face the B.C Lions.
The Eskimos are on their second three-game losing streak of the season as the final third of the season begins.
The Eskimos fell last week to the Saskatchewan Roughriders 26-23 in overtime at Mosaic Stadium. It was the Eskimos fourth overtime game of the season (1-3 record) which sets a new franchise record. Quarterback Mike Reilly was 19 of 36 passing for 306 yards and throwing a touchdown pass for the fifth straight game. Reilly was sacked once in the game, the Eskimos have surrendered 11 sacks in the last five games. Receiver Nate Coehoorn scored his second touchdown of the season on a 72 yard pass and run play. Adarius Bowman recorded a season-high 152 yards on nine catches. Bowman has seven 100-yard receiving games on the season Running back Shakir Bell rushed for 88 yards on 14 carries and has averaged 113 yards in his two starts in place of the injured John White (shoulder). Kicker Sean Whyte was good on all five field goal attempts and leads the CFL in field goal percentage at 91.4 per cent. Whyte is perfect from inside the 50 yard line (30 for 30). Linebacker Kenny Ladler recorded his second interception in the last three games. Ladler also has two fumble recoveries on the season.
The Eskimos will make a ratio flip on both sides of the ball for Friday’s game. First National receiver Cory Watson has been placed on the six-game injured list with leg injury suffered in last Sunday’s game in Regina. International receiver Brandon Zylstra will make his CFL debut after spending the first 12 games on the practice roster. During the pre-season Zylstra caught nine passes for 107 yards in two games.
On defense, National defensive lineman Don Oramasionwu will play his first game since suffering a torn tricep in the pre-season which has since been surgically repaired. International defensive lineman Jabari Hunt will come out of the lineup
Quarterback: Mike Reilly
Running back: Shakir Bell (Fullback: Mike Miller)
Offensive Line: Tony Washington-Simeon Rottier-Justin Sorensen-Matt O’Donnell-D’Anthony Batiste
Receivers: Derel Walker-Adarius Bowman-Brandon Zylstra-Chris Getzlaf-Nate Coehoorn
Defensive Line: Philip Hunt-Eddie Steele-Almondo Sewell-Odell Willis
Linebackers: Deon Lacey-J.C. Sherritt-Kenny Ladler
Defensive Backs: Pat Watkins-Marcell Young-Neil King-Brandyn Thompson-Cords Parks
The Lions are on a three-game winning streak, their longest streak since the 2012 season after a 38-27 win over the Montreal Alouettes back on September 9 at B.C. Place Stadium. The Lions are 8-4 and tied for second place with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Quarterback Jonathon Jennings passed for 341 yards and threw one touchdown pass. Running back Jeremiah Johnson rushed for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns. Running back Chris Rainey recorded five carries for 61 yards and two catches for 30 yards. Receiver Bryan Burnham caught six passes for 138 yards. In total the Lions recorded 585 net yards of offense, their highest total since August 6, 2004 (656 yards vs. Ottawa). The Lions are 5-1 on the road and are on a three-game road winning streak. The Lions are also coming off a bye week and are 7-1 in that situation since 2011.
This is the first of two meetings between the Eskimos and Lions.
You can hear Friday’s game between the Eskimos and the Lions on 630 CHED starting with the pre-game show at 6pm. The kick-off on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium is at 8pm with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action, with analysis from former Eskimos offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup Champion Blake Dermott, and Brenden Ullrich reporting from the Eskimos sidelines.