Perry out to prove himself

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Fred Perry deserved a good break.

After breaking his leg in Week 4 when teammate Jim Davis accidentally rolled into him, Perry capitalized on another break yesterday.

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive end notched his first ever interception return touchdown in yesterday's 29-21 victory over Winnipeg in the East Division semifinal on a play that was never designed by the coaching staff.

Edmonton linebacker Kenny Onatolu accidentally lined up in Perry's spot before the snap of the ball, leaving Perry without a home.

But instinct took over a moment later, leading to the most important play of the game.

"I saw (Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn) winding up and I just ran across and knocked the ball down. Glenn throws the ball low, too. That helped," said Perry.

Surely confusing Glenn on the play, Perry caught the ball after he deflected it higher in the air and rumbled untouched to the end zone.

The major put Edmonton in front 20-15 inside of the final three minutes of the second quarter and gave the visitors momentum heading to the dressing room for halftime.

Considering where he came from - flat on his back on Toronto's Rogers Centre turf with a broken leg on July 20 - it's quite a story.

"I just couldn't go out like that," said Perry.

MISSED 11 GAMES

The 33-year-old missed 11 games with the broken leg and dislocated ankle before coming back for the final three regular-season games.

But it hasn't been a slice in every game since he returned this fall. Perry was heavily criticized in the Sun on the eve of the final regular-season tilt for not having a sack this season.

In fact, the Sun story pointed out he failed to record a sack in 14 of his last 15 regular-season games dating back to 2007.

In the victorious Eskimos' dressing room in Winnipeg yesterday, Perry admitted that story motivated him.

"I just feel like after reading what you wrote about me that right there I had to prove to you ... I don't want to be known as somebody who can't rush the passer," said Perry.

"My point is to prove ... people wrong."

Perry brought up the topic on his own and handled the matter with class.

To his credit, he has caused a key turnover in each of the last two games.

HAVEN'T SEEN HIS BEST

He believes he hasn't played his best football this year.

"I just came back. There is definitely more there (in the tank)," Perry remarked.

The Montreal Alouettes are about to find out if that is true in the East Division playoff final on Saturday at Olympic Stadium against the Eskimos.


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