Same old story

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

It was a fitting ending to a miserable season.

The Edmonton Eskimos constantly failed to convert short-yardage plays all season - and it officially killed the Green and Gold's playoff hopes last night.

On a third-and-one play from the 11-yard line in overtime last night, rookie running back Damien Anderson failed to get a single yard to keep the Esks' post-season hopes alive.

With the 36-29 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Edmonton is eliminated from playoff contention and will miss the post-season for the second straight year.

But blaming the entire loss on the short-yard game - which also cost Edmonton a touchdown in the second half - is wrong.

The list of mistakes is long after losing to a Roughrider club that was missing 10 starters.

- The defence couldn't hold a 13-point lead in the final 6:11 of the fourth quarter, even though all-star quarterback Kerry Joseph and slotback Andy Fantuz didn't see the field for a single play.

Third-string running back Henri Childs scored on a 16-yard run before Mike Washington grabbed a 12-yard TD strike.

- The offence failed in the red zone - twice last night.

Edmonton failed to get a major in the first possession of the game when it was first and goal-to-go from the three-yard line.

The Esks then failed on three tries from the one-yard-line to end the third quarter and start the fourth quarter.

- But in a season where the Esks have had their disputes with officials, a holding call on Sean Fleming's 47-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock left arm-chair critics yelling across the country.

The call against Mike Maurer kept Fleming from being a hero in his final game at Commonwealth Stadium. Instead of a 32-29 Edmonton win, the Esks had to taste overtime.

SECOND MAJOR OF GAME

Childs scored his second major to open overtime, which led to the Esks failing on their only OT possession.

The loss overshadowed a gusty game by backup pivot Stefan LeFors.

Edmonton's rookie pivot finished 34-for-48 for 412 yards and three touchdowns.

The majority of that came after he was drilled by T.J. Stancil in the first half and knocked from the game for one series.

The Stancil hit led to John Chick rumbling 70 yards for a touchdown to completely erase an Edmonton 13-0 lead to open the game.

LeFors returned to throw two touchdowns - Kamau Peterson and Jason Tucker - in the second half. The defeat also kept Peterson out of the spotlight after a season-high 125 receiving yards.

And Calvin McCarty didn't get to celebrate after making the catch of the year for the Green and Gold.

With all-star Rider defensive back Eddie Davis draped all over him, McCarty was able to haul in Stefan LeFors' 40-yard pass with one hand while running backwards.

BACK-PEDALED INTO TD

The fourth-round pick then backpedaled the remaining four yards into the end zone to make it 13-0.

But what matters is that Edmonton is out of the post-season for the second straight year - marking the first time that has happened since 1964-65.


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