'Got some work to do,' Paopao

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

Even with Mr. Ed, they'd have had no chance.

It's not difficult to see why the Ottawa Renegades tried to add some zip to their offence by signing Ed Hervey this off-season. Of course, that worked out rather badly for the Gleiber Guys - just like last night's obligatory loss to the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium.

While Ricky Ray grabbed the headlines in a 41-16 butt-whipping, it was the Esks defence that did the dirty work in making it 18 straight wins at home over the visitors from Ottawa - be they Rough Riders or Renegades - with a dominant display in the season-opener for both teams.

Up front, it was men against boys.

"One game doesn't make your season, but I also know we've got our work cut out for us," said Ottawa coach Joe Paopao. "We started a rookie tackle (Marc Parenteau) and he got a baptism.

"You're going against (Joe) Montford and (Rashad) Jeanty and they're pretty good ends. They got some push up inside."

The Renegades came calling looking for their first win in Edmonton since a 17-14 decision on Aug. 26, 1983, but got no sniff as the Esks defence poured it on, tormenting quarterback Kerry Joseph and holding his pop-gun attack to eight first downs and 233 yards of total offence - a big chunk of that came late with the outcome no longer in doubt.

"I never did get into a rhythm," said Joseph, sacked seven times behind an offensive line that got chewed up and spit out. "They made the plays and we didn't. You have to give credit to those guys.

"Once we got behind, those guys were able to pin their ears back and come after us."

The lone highlight for the Renegades came on special teams in the second quarter when Jason Armstead took a Sean Fleming punt and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown to cut the Eskimos lead to 12-8.

"It's not where you start, it's where you finish," offered Paopao. "Give them full marks. They looked in mid-season form."

SHORT YARDAGE: Ottawa linebacker Keaton Cromartie sustained a mild concussion in the first half and did not return.


Videos

Photos