There's just one problem

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

CALGARY -- When the Edmonton Eskimos review film of the West semifinal today there will be one glaring problem: missed tackles.

If backup QB Jason Maas and kicker Sean Fleming hadn't delivered their best performances of the year, the heat would been on the Green and Gold's top-ranked run defence.

The Calgary Stampeders ran over - or more like through - the Eskimo defence yesterday, piling up 198 yards of rushing.

It marked the highest rushing total against Edmonton this year.

Before yesterday, the Eskimos were giving up just 79 yards on average per game.

Tony Stallings had 90 yards by himself yesterday.

Joffrey Reynolds had 83 yards.

"It comes down to one thing, missed tackles," said veteran linebacker A.J. Gass.

"Everybody was there. We had exactly what we wanted, the one-on-one matchups.

"Our defence is so geared toward assignments that when everybody is in their spot and you get that opportunity to make that play, you have to wrap up and make that tackle."

The most ugly example came in the first quarter when defensive tackle Randy Spencer seemed to have Stallings in his grasp.

Stallings escaped and ran for 63 yards. It was the key play in the Stamps' first TD run.

It was one of at least seven noticeable missed tackles in the first half.

"Tackling is something that we have to work on next week," said Gass, issuing what was the understatement of the day.

LATE HITS: Also overshadowed by Maas and Fleming was Troy Davis. Edmonton's stellar back had 100 yards on 19 carries.

"The offensive linemen and the receivers had the downfield blocking. The only thing I had to do was open my eyes and read the holes," said Davis.

Davis's biggest role came in the Esks' final scoring drive when he ran the ball six straight times.

"He played a huge role," said Edmonton offensive lineman Kevin Lefsrud. "We started running the ball, wore the clock out and took their heart."


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