It was a night filled with bittersweet moments.
And the Edmonton Eskimos will take a number of lessons from Friday's 32-29 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.
Not the least of which was, to be wary of short guys running a booted ball the other way. As diminutive Montreal return specialist Ezra Landry proved in convincing fashion, they can be real trouble.
Clearly, there was no joy in the Green and Gold bathhouse following the setback at a sold-out Percival Molson Stadium.
All things being equal, lanky receiver Trevor Gaylor had a pretty good night with four catches for 48 yards.
"Long receptions mean nothing when you lose," said the University of Miami-Ohio product. "Point-blank, period. You can catch for 500 yards, if you lose, oh well, who cares?
"With this group of receivers, it could be anybody any given night. You kind of hope to get the ball but if it goes somewhere else they're going to make the same play you would have made."
Making plays proved to be the Esks downfall in the loss which dropped their record to 2-1-0. The normally sure-handed Ed Hervey dropped a couple of catchable balls which, in retrospect, could have altered the game's outcome.
Gaylor, meanwhile, made a highlight reel grab amid double coverage and came within a couple of yards of recording his first CFL touchdown on the play.
As it was, the 25-yard grab set the stage for a one-yard TD plunge by quarterback Ricky Ray, which vaulted the Esks into a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
"It's not about numbers, it about W's which is why I was so mad," said Gaylor.
Rookie Esks head coach Danny Maciocia was also impressed by the grab.
"Those are the type of plays that we were making early that we weren't making later in the game," Maciocia observed.
ON PRACTICE ROSTER
Cut loose by the Detroit Lions last summer, Gaylor joined the Esks in mid-September and spent the remainder of the season on the team's practice roster.
This spring Gaylor came to camp looking to lock up the No. 4 receiver spot behind Hervey, Jason Tucker and Derrell Mitchell.
"He was our best receiver come out of camp as far as that fourth job is concerned," offered Maciocia. "He's done a pretty good job and he's just going to get better as we go along. He's getting a good feel for this game and a good feel for the quarterback."
Watching Alouettes kicker Damon Duval hit from 48 yards out with no time on the clock to seal the deal for Montreal was another lesson for the quick-study Gaylor.
Duval's game-winning field goal was the result of the Esks being unable to run out the clock on their final possession. Landry fielded Sean Fleming's punt from the end zone and was tackled with two-tenths of a second on the clock.
"The game is never over," understated Gaylor. "As we saw with 0.2 seconds, you can leave with a loss. My main focus now is to never quit."
Because Gaylor was San Diego's fourth-round pick in the 200 NFL draft and later spent two seasons with Atlanta, he could have a big-league attitude and an even bigger chip on his shoulder.
But he doesn't. Nor will he.
"I fell in love with coach Maciocia and this offence. I'm not going to lie," said Gaylor, who was seriously contemplating life after football when the Esks called.