It was all for knot

Eskimos QB Ricky Ray was on fire against the Blue Bombers last night in Edmonton, but the game...

Eskimos QB Ricky Ray was on fire against the Blue Bombers last night in Edmonton, but the game ended in a tie. (Sun Media/Darryl Dyck)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

It's been 21 years since the Edmonton Eskimos did the football equivalent of kissing their sister.

And it definitely doesn't taste good this morning.

For the first time since 1986, the Green and Gold have put up a tie in the standings, battling the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 39-39 draw in front of 33,038 at Commonwealth Stadium last night in their CFL regular season opener.

"It's one of those disappointing ones - we kind of beat ourselves," said Edmonton defensive end Adam Braidwood.

"We did a lot of good things. We have a lot of new guys. We can't be that mad at ourselves - but we definitely should have won that game."

The Eskimos certainly had a chance to do just that in the final overtime session, but Sean Fleming couldn't deliver on a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game.

"It was difficult," said Fleming. "The wind out there was pretty nasty. All you want to do is pick a spot and hit it as well as you can. It just took off (in the wind)."

Needing just a single to win the game in the final overtime possession, the Esks scrimmaged from the 35-yard line. At the most, it should have been a 41-yard attempt for Fleming.

But running back Tyler Ebell lost five yards on his first carry, and Edmonton failed to do anything on second down.

"If we had been a bit closer, maybe it goes for a single," added Fleming.

"But my job - obviously - is to make the field goal. Maybe watching (Troy) Westwood miss as he bad as he did jinxed me."

Westwood missed from 41 yards on Winnipeg's final OT series. But the kickers were just two of many storylines, including:

- Milt Stegall tied the all-time CFL touchdown record by beating Stanford Samuels late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

"It means a lot, to have actually tied a record of two great football players in this league," Stegall said.

- Ricky Ray threw five touchdown strikes, including one in overtime, while passing for 394 yards.

- Winnipeg starter Kevin Glenn threw for 416 yards.

- Bomber running back Charles Roberts had four touchdowns on the ground.

- Eskimo rookie Ebell had 132 rushing yards.

- Winnipeg's questionable third touchdown of the first half. Roberts seemed to fall short at the one-inch line.

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia challenged the touchdown ruling and a TV replay seemed to show Roberts down before the goal line.

However, head referee Bud Steen ruled there wasn't enough conclusive evidence to over-rule the call.

FINISH LINES: The Esks will be closely watching Rahim Abdullah today during medical meetings. The newly acquired defensive end injured his right shoulder last and needed helping taking some of his equipment off.

"It hurts like (heck)," said Abdullah.


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