Tough sledding for Esks' backs

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- It was a Jekyll and Hyde night at the office for Edmonton Eskimos running back Elvis Joseph.

The former Jacksonville Jaguar had better luck catching the ball than he did running it in the first quarter of last night's 23-9 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium.

Joseph was dropped for a loss of a yard on his first two carries of the game and stacked up in the backfield for a loss of another three yards on his third carry of the opening quarter.

"We were trying to feel them out, they were putting a lot of blocks on us," said Joseph, who managed to generate positive yardage with a one-yard gain on his fourth carry of the stanza and had two catches for 22 yards.

"They were playing a lot of games up front in the first quarter. In the second quarter, we tried to adjust."

The Southern University product was infinitely more effective during the second quarter and finished the half with 11 carries for 31 yards.

"It was a little tough sledding on the running," Joseph said. "But we'll watch the film for next week and be ready to go when it counts."

Compact scatback Ron McLendon took over from Joseph in the backfield in the latter stages of the game and lugged the ball a half-dozen times for 15 yards.

"I thought they both did a fairly decent job," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia. "I thought Joseph was probably a little bit more productive.

"They're two quality backs. It's the type of situation that can vary from week to week. One can look a little bit better one week and the other can look a little bit better the following week."

LATE HITS: With veteran Chris Morris resting his knee, Patrick Kabongo drew the start at right tackle last night. Kabongo arrived in Edmonton from Ottawa last season billed as a defensive tackle. The six-foot-six, 315-pound Kabongo was flagged twice for procedure in the second quarter.


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