Epstein got job done

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

CALGARY -- He had one shank and got caught napping when he was supposed to be punting.

But, aside from that, import kicker Hayden Epstein finished Labour Day on the right foot. He was three for three on field goals, hitting from nine and 45 yards, and averaged 40 yards on 10 punts.

"He did really well," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "That's what you ask your kicker to do."

Epstein, who took over the most important element of Sean Fleming's portfolio two weeks ago - field goals - wasn't at all nervous about taking over the punting duties as well. Even though the baptism had to come in Calgary.

"I felt very much in my element," he said. "The environment was a lot like some of the really strong college rivalries, intense and fun. I'm used to it. This was a good experience."

As for the late arrival on a third-quarter punt - about which Maciocia joked that Epstein must have thought he was still in the States and waiting for fourth down - he says he thought Ricky Ray had fumbled on the play.

"I saw the defensive players go out," he said, adding it didn't dawn on him that the punt team is largely comprised of defensive guys. "I just have to pay more attention. But I got out there in time and got a good punt off."

As for whether he'll continue with both jobs in Friday's rematch, Epstein says he's still in the dark.

"With the whole numbers issue I don't know what they're going to do. I've been learning that a lot of who plays is about numbers, Canadians and Americans, so I don't know anything.

"I'm just ready and I know Sean is ready. No matter what happens, as long as we get a W, that's what we both want."


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