One rough debut

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Joe Montford made quite an impact in his first game of the season for the Edmonton Eskimos - but not in the way he wanted.

In a very uncharacteristic move, Montford kicked B.C. Lions offensive lineman Rob Murphy in the groin area in the second quarter last night and was disqualified.

"The dude grabbed me and pulled me down and then jumped on (top of) me," said Montford, explaining why he booted Murphy.

"But I have to be more of a veteran and take that and play some more."

Edmonton Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia didn't scold Montford for the incident, even though it could have really hurt his team, which was trailing 10-7 at the time.

"I saw the incident and we're not going to sit here and lead you to believe that it's wasn't an objection (worthy call)," said Maciocia.

"We all know what he did. But he felt really, really bad about it and when I came off the field, he apologized. But I told him he didn't have to because we are all in this together.

"And I said the good news is that we were able to pull this one off and we will need you in a couple weeks, so be ready to play."

And part of the reason the Eskimos beat the B.C. Lions 27-20 last night was the play of young defensive ends Andre Sommersell and Chuck Alston, who had to fill the void.

"I am so proud of those guys," said Montford.

"Those guys played in the soggy conditions with their legs gone.

"To go out there and put an effort out there like they did against a good O-line and a really good quarterback, I was so proud."

SHORT HIT: After waiting for more than a year, defensive back Jonte Buhl has finally played his first professional regular-season game. With the game-day scratch of veteran slotback Mookie Mitchell because of a hamstring strain, the Eskimos had an import slot to fill and chose to add depth to their defence instead of bringing former starting receiver Trevor Gaylor off the reserve list.

"They are a passing team and by having an extra defensive back it helps us," said Dan McKinnon, manager of the Esks' football operations.

Buhl was close to playing a real game last summer, but was released by the Atlanta Falcons after training camp. After running out of NFL options, Buhl ventured north this spring.

He did have one impressive special teams tackle last night, but also produced one of the most bizarre plays, by jumping on a punted ball deep in B.C. territory. For some strange reason, the Lions didn't have a returner to field the punt, but when Buhl jumped on the ball, it caused a no yards penalty.

EXTRA POINTS: By activating Buhl, the Eskimos actually had three receivers - Mitchell, Gaylor and Rob Leblanc on their four-man taxi squad. As usual, import DT Jabari Issa was the other scratch.... Bobbi-Dawn Boisselle of St. Albert became the honourary captain last night after being the 9,000,000th fan through the Commonwealth Stadium gates for a regular-season game.


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