It was back on September 23 in Edmonton when the Eskimos season was at a crossroads. Losers of three straight games and sitting out of the CFL playoff picture at 5-7. Head coach Jason Maas and the rest of the team declared a six-game season. Facing the Lions in Edmonton the Eskimos fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter but rallied back to win the game 27-23 which was the start of a three-game winning streak.
With a playoff spot already in their possession the Eskimos on Saturday will look to win their fourth straight game and move past the B.C. Lions into third place in the Western Division when the two teams play each other at B.C. Place Stadium.
The 8-7 Eskimos would also win the season series against the Lions with a victory which would give them the advantage in tie-breaker scenarios. The Eskimos would also pull to within two points of the second place Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Eskimos won their third straight game with a 40-20 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Thanksgiving Day at Molson Stadium. Quarterback Mike Reilly recorded his 12th 300 yard passing game and threw for two touchdowns and scored one rushing touchdown. Running back John White rushed 19 times for 145 yards and scored two touchdowns. Receiver Brandon Zylstra caught six passes for 104 yards and scored his first career CFL touchdown. Receiver Chris Getzlaf also scored a touchdown while kicker Sean Whyte kicked two field goals. The Eskimos have scored 80 points in their last two games .
Two starters will miss Saturday’s game due to injuries. Offensive lineman Tony Washington is on the one-game injured iist with a leg injury suffered on Thanksgiving Day. Joel Figueroa who was signed in the off-season will make his Eskimos debut and start at left tackle. Figueroa started 18 games in two previous seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and played in the 2014 Grey Cup game. Defensive back Brandyn Thompson will miss the game with an arm injury sustained on Thanksgiving Day and has been placed on the one-game injured list. Garry Peters will start in Thompson’s spot in the secondary. Defensive back Tyler Thornton will draw in to play special teams and provide depth. Offensive lineman Danny Groulx has been added to the 46-man roster and is expected to be a scratch.
Quarterback: Mike Reilly
Running back: John White (Fullback: Mike Miller)
Offensive Line: Joel Figueroa-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-Garry Peters-Cords Parks
The Lions are currently on their longest losing streak of the season at two-games after losing both ends of a home-and-home series to the Bombers. The Lions held a 10 point lead with three mintues left in the fourth quarter only to end up losing 35-32 to the Bombers last week at B.C Place Stadium. The Lions surrendered 10 points in 37 seconds inside of the final three minutes. Turnovers have been a major issue for the Lions during their two-game losing streak as they are minus-seven in turnover ratio including six interceptions. Quarterback Jonathon Jennings passed for 327 yards throwing for two touchdowns and three interceptions. Safety Mike Edem recorded two interceptions but picks have been hard to come by for the Lions this season. The Lions have just nine interceptions this season. On defense the Lions are led by Team 100 in linebackers Solomon Elimimian and Adam Bighill. Elimimian has 113 defensive tackles which leads the CFL. Bighill is just four tackles away from 100 which would give the Lions two defenders with 100 defensive tackles on the season which be a first in the CFL.
The Eskimos have won three straight games over the Lions and five of their last six games.
You can hear Saturday’s game between the Eskimos and the Lions on 630 CHED starting with the pre-game show at 3:30pm. The kick-off from B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver is 5pm 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.