Snack vs. steak

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Recipe for Eskimo upside-down cake:

Six sacks.

Two big play TDs.

Stir slowly.

Then whip.

Delicious. But enough with the snacks. It's time to tackle some serious steak.

"We'll see next week. Montreal is the real deal,'' said Bruce Beaton after the Edmonton 27-8 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a game which was much more one-sided than the scoreboard indicated.

Next week the Eskimos go east to play the Alouettes.

Then we'll see about substance. Then we'll see if this team, which started 0-3 last year and only won two games on the road all season, is the goods or if this was just filling in a couple free spaces on the CFL bingo card.

"It's easy to get excited when you see us jump on a couple of teams which are short of where they want to be,'' said Beaton.

"Let's wait and see what we do against Montreal. I think this team is looking forward to that game as much as our fans.''

Head coach Danny Maciocia doesn't quite buy my snack vs. steak suggestion, no matter what the statistics, the scoreboard, the standings or his players may say.

"There are no snacks out here. The last time we won here was 1996. That was a 14-ounce end-cut win.''

Sean Fleming, who kicked two field goals to break Dave Cutler's Eskimo field goal record, had his own perspective.

"We won two games against teams having some issues. But these were teams we lost games to last year. Last year we were losing games we should have won.''

Ricky Ray, who completed 28 of 40 passes for 469 yards compared to the Bombers' Tee Martin's 12 of 29 for 107 yards, agrees.

TOUGH TEAM

"The next game is going to be a good test for us. The Alouettes are a tough team and Montreal is a tough place to win,'' said the quarterback who was frustrated with 'only' 27 points.

"The defence is definitely the strength of this team so far this year. They've played two great games.''

The scoreboard was, indeed, kind to the Blue Bombers. The statistics weren't.

They was whupped.

This was Winnipeg, a team which gave up more yardage to Corey Holmes (169) in the first half than the 135 yards the Blue Bombers managed in the entire game last week in Saskatchewan.

Yesterday Ricky Ray threw one to Jason Tucker for 105 yards, breaking the Damon Allen to Gizmo Williams 102-yard team record which Tucker tied last year on a pass from Jason Maas.

Mike Bradley ripped off a first-half 60-yard run for another one.

That's 162 yards on two plays. Winnipeg's total offence against the Eskimos in this one: 111 yards.

"It was frustrating,'' said Maciocia. "In the first half we had over 200 yards offence and only had 10 points to show for it.

"This offence is going to get big plays like we had today. But we also have to have the ability to finish off drives.''

The defence, which last week gave up a couple of singles and an interception return touchdown, gave up a touchdown set up by blocked punt field position and one single.

For the second straight game, Ray to Tucker and the sack attack were the stories. Tucker scored two touchdowns in the first one and the Eskimos had seven sacks.

With Joe Montford calling for six sacks for this one, as he did for the opener, the Eskimos had three of them in the bag after the first quarter - two by Singor Mobley, one by Davis Sanchez. Five quarters into the season and the total was 10 sacks - one-third of the total of 30 Edmonton registered all last season.

SIX-SACK SPREAD

Rashad Jeanty with his fourth sack of the season, Cedric Scott with his third and Steve Marsh with his first covered the six-sack Montford spread.

Two games and 13 sacks.

"We're playing as a team and we're trusting one another,'' said Maciocia.

The next one is the litmus test.

Then it's Winnipeg and Ottawa again.


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