It's a wild win!

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

REGINA -- The field was littered with fallen Edmonton Eskimos.

It actually looked a football version of a war zone at the end of a wild final play - but thankfully for the Green and Gold, they will live to see another day.

In the face of adversity and on the brink of elimination from the playoffs for the first time in 35 years, the defending Grey Cup champions finally showed up in the fourth quarter and delivered last night.

With a season-saving touchdown drive in the final 2:04 of the fourth quarter and a desperation stop on the most bizarre play of the CFL season, Edmonton ended its season-long winless streak on the road with a 30-25 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"We're still surviving," proclaimed receiver Ed Hervey.

TRAGIC NUMBER IS THREE

The win keeps Edmonton's Tragic Number at three, meaning the Eskimos are four points behind the Riders with four games remaining.

Another huge plus for the defending Grey Cup champions is the fact they now own the season series over the Green and White, meaning a tie at the end of the year will go to Edmonton.

But the good news almost died on the final play of the game, when Edmonton almost collapsed in worse fashion than the Milt Miracle at Commonwealth in July.

"It would have been the two of the top-10 finishes in one season, which would have been a nightmare," said linebacker A.J. Gass.

With one last play, the Riders scrimmaged from Edmonton's 53-yard line, needing a touchdown to win.

Remembering the Winnipeg debacle, Edmonton dropped eight men deep, but that actually hurt when quarterback Rocky Butler fumbled.

That sparked a wild scene that will be replayed all week on TV stations across the country.

Without official play-by-play from the CFL stats crew on press deadline last night, the play unfolded something like this: Butler fumbled to Rider offensive lineman Charles Thomas - lateral to offensive lineman Andrew Greene - lateral to Butler - lateral to Kenton Keith - pitch to receiver Andy Fantuz - pass across to Corey Grant - then back to Keith - who eventually fumbled to Edmonton's Jonte Buhl on the four-yard line.

"That was the craziest thing I have been part of," said Edmonton safety J.R. LaRose.

"I thought the quarterback went down initially ... and I looked back and they were still passing the ball.

"I said, 'Oh my goodness.'

"It was extremely tiring, running back and forth."

PLAYERS STREWN EVERYWHERE

Exhausted, players were strewn everywhere.

But that play overshadowed a stellar Ricky Ray-led touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, which featured a 47-yard bomb to Pat Woodcock on second down.

The pivot eventually scrambled into the end zone from eight yards away with 42 seconds left.

"What you witnessed tonight was Eskimo football in the fourth quarter," said Danny Maciocia.

"Everything I've been talking about all year - about collapsing in the fourth quarter and not playing with that attitude and arrogance of taking it now, we saw it tonight."


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