Eskimos finally use big guns

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:00 AM ET

Finally, the Edmonton Eskimos have figured out what should have been obvious.

When they put the ball in the hands of their best playmakers, they tend to win games.

It took until this late in the season for it to become clear in Eskimoland, and now the numbers are lopsided in favour of their top running back.

When Hugh Charles gets 15 or more touches this season, the Eskimos are 6-1. They are 1-7 when he gets less than 15.

Charles was having a great season until the Eskimos brought Cory Boyd on board and muddled the situation. Now Boyd is gone, and Charles is back flourishing.

During a five-game losing streak, the tailback, known for his backflips after TDs, had 33 carries and just 12 receptions. He never got going.

In the past two games, he's had 27 rushes and four receptions, and both times the Eskimos won. Coincidence?

It works the same with Fred Stamps, who had a breakout game in a win over Hamilton. In the past two games, Stamps had 12 receptions, but in the previous five games, he made just 14 grabs.

Both of those players have suddenly made their season numbers look better. Charles needs just 148 rushing yards for his first 1,000-yard season, after getting 152 against the Roughriders -- good enough for player of the week honours.

Stamps will get his fourth-straight 1,000-yard season with 37 yards in the final three games.

With middle linebacker J.C. Sherritt now back, he will try to take a shot at Calvin Tiggle's tackles record. He would need 21 in three games, which shouldn't be tough if he is fully healthy. Over the course of this season, he's had 11 outings where he picked up seven or more tackles.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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