The Eskimos are gearing up for the post-season which will begin in just over two weeks. The Eskimos most likely destination is through the Eastern Division via the crossover. Friday at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. the Eskimos face a potential semi-final opponent in the Tiger-Cats.
There’s a small chance the Eskimos can still finish in second place in the West but they would have to be tied at 10-8 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the B.C. Lions at the end of the season. The CFL says the mathematics of the Eskimos capturing second in the West is the equivalent of winning six straight coin flips. Regardless head coach Jason Maas says he’s not focused on the post-season just yet.
“We’re not focused on the playoffs right now whatsoever,” Maas said. “We’re focused on beating these guys and that’s where our sole focus remains.”
Linebacker Deon Lacey was asked if he’s thought about the Tiger-Cats being a potential playoff opponent.
“No I don’t look at that but at the same time it’s in the back of your head so we just go out here and play ball,” Lacey said. “It’s playoff ball for some teams and we have to approach it the same way because its playoff ball for us.”
The Eskimos had their three-game winning streak come to end last week with a 32-25 loss to the B.C. Lions at B.C. Place Stadium. The Eskimos trailed 18-5 at the half and even though they out-scored the Lions 20-14 in the second half the 13 point deficit at the half was too much to overcome. The offence received decent production from quarterback Mike Reilly who passed for 261 yards and threw for one touchdown pass and running in another. Receiver Adarius Bowman caught seven passes for 89 yards and a touchdown and set a new franchise record for receptions in a season with 116. Running back John White rushed 11 times for 76 yards and scored a touchdown. The offence struggled in finding any consistency with their longest passing play being just 21 yards. The offence recorded a season low 23:16 of time of possession and ran just 47 plays. On defense, defensive end Marcus Howard recorded a sack in his third straight game since coming back from a knee injury. Linebacker J.C. Sherritt has recorded 24 defensive tackles in the last three games.
Defensive back Pat Watkins and receiver Nate Coehoorn will miss Friday’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Watkins hurt his knee in last week’s loss to the B.C. Lions; the injury has nagged him since training camp. Coehoorn suffered an arm/shoulder injury in practice on Tuesday. Garry Peters will start for Watkins at short-side corner; it’s his second official start of the season although he has made several appearances this season. Peters has recorded 16 defensive tackles in nine games played this season. Bailey hasn’t caught a pass this season seeing most of his time on special teams. Bailey has 31 catches for 386 yards receiving yards in two previous seasons scoring one touchdown.
Other lineup changes will see the return of linebacker Adam Konar who will play his first game since Labour Day. Defensive back Demetrius Wright will play his first game since August 26 and will provide some depth in the secondary.
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-Devon Bailey
Defensive Line: Philip Hunt-Eddie Steele-Almondo Sewell-Odell Willis
Linebackers: Deon Lacey-J.C. Sherritt-Kenny Ladler
Defensive Backs: Garry Peters-Marcell Young-Neil King-Tyler Thornton-Cords Parks
The Tiger-Cats broke a three-game losing streak last week with a come from behind 39-36 win in overtime over the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The win clinched a playoff spot for the 7-9 Tiger-Cats and a home playoff game. The Tiger-Cats sit one point behind the REDBLACKS for first place in the Eastern Division with two games remaining for both teams. The Tiger-Cats were down 27-12 at halftime but out-scored the REDBLACKS 27-9 in the second half. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 359 passing yards, three touchdown passes, and two interceptions. It was the 11th 300 yard passing game recorded by a Tiger-Cats quarterback this season. Zach Collaros returns as the starting pivot after missing the last two games with a concussion. Collaros has played eight games this season recording 2,531 passing yards and throwing for 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Defensive end John Chick is the leader of the Tiger-Cats defense recording 35 defensive tackles, 13 quarterback sacks (third in the CFL) and four forced fumbles. Chick has eight sacks in his last nine games and at least one in six of those games.
The Tiger-Cats beat the Eskimos 37-31 back on July 23 in Edmonton erasing a 25 point deficit in the second half.
You can hear Friday’s game between the Eskimos and Tiger-Cats on 630 CHED starting with the pre-game show at 3:30pm. The kick-off from Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton 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.