Nothing changes for cellar-dwelling Esks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

Some things don't change for the Edmonton Eskimos.

The West Division basement is still home.

The offence still isn't clicking.

And a self-inflicted shot to the foot is still the most prominent play.

The latest example came last night in front of 32,441 disappointed fans at Commonwealth Stadium as the Green and Gold lost 21-13 to the undefeated Montreal Alouettes to fall to 2-4 in the West.

ESKS FALL APART IN FOURTH

But unlike last week - when Milt Stegall broke their hearts with a 100-yard TD catch and run to win on the final play - the Esks self-destructed throughout the fourth quarter.

After taking a 13-7 lead just 1:20 into the fourth quarter on Mike Maurer's first regular-season touchdown since 2003, the Esks collapsed like a house of cards.

First, Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo engineered an 11 play, 77-yard drive - capped by a Robert Edwards 13-yard major - to retake the lead 14-13.

Then late in the stanza, a pass-interference penalty to Shannon Garrett kept a Montreal drive alive.

Instead of being third-and-five at the 50-yard line, the Als got a new lease on the life with the penalty and capitalized - eventually punching the ball into the end zone with another Edwards run with 1:38 remaining to make it 21-13.

And any hope of a comeback ended 22 seconds later when Ricky Ray threw an interception over the middle of the field.

While the Als are now 6-0 and the class of the league, the Esks have now lost two straight and three of their last four.

And as they prepare to travel to Vancouver next week, they won't want to look at the first-half film from last night, because it was nearly as bad as the second half.

Although the club cut down on their number of penalties last night, they were still flagged at key moments in the first 30 minutes.

After trading field goals to open the game, the Green and Gold were rolling into Montreal territory on a big pass to Jason Tucker early in the second quarter, but an illegal block penalty wiped it out and Edmonton eventually punted.

DRIVE KEPT ALIVE

On the very next drive, Montreal would have likely been forced to punt, but an illegal contact infraction to Antico Dalton kept the drive alive, brining a single point to the Als.

But the most painful shot to the foot came late in the second quarter when Jason Tucker hauled in a 30-yard TD pass only to see it negated by a holding penalty on Patrick Kabongo.

Sean Fleming then watched his field-goal attempt clang off the left upright to keep the score 4-3 Montreal entering halftime.

FINISH LINES: To no surprise, Montreal attacked beleaguered Edmonton DB Reggie Durden. The unofficial scorecard at the end of the game: six passes in his direction, two completions and one pass interference penalty.


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