A day late and a yard - or two - short

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos' short-yardage unit is living proof that bad things do come in threes.

In a season full of mistakes in every area on the football club, the short-yardage gang has now played a major role in three ugly losses.

Example No. 1: Stefan LeFors failed to convert a second- and-one from the Calgary one-yard line in the fourth quarter on Aug. 4. Edmonton settled for a field goal for a one-point lead. But only needing a field goal to win, the Stamps got it from Sandro DeAngelis on the final play of the game.

Example No. 2: Steven Jyles got stuffed for no gain on a second-and-one play in the fourth quarter in Regina on Aug. 18. Sean Fleming came on the field, but his punt was botched, giving Saskatchewan the ball on the last play before a power outage.

When the game resumed, the Riders erased Edmonton's lead and posted the victory.

Example No. 3: Rookie running back Damien Anderson failed on three separate plays during Friday's 36-29 loss to the Roughriders.

Not once, but twice, Anderson was stopped for no gain on the Saskatchewan one-yard line to end the third quarter and start the fourth. Edmonton turned the ball over on downs.

Then Anderson was stopped for no gain in overtime on third-and-one, which ended the game and Edmonton's playoff hopes.

"It seemed like as soon as I got the ball the guy was right there," said Anderson on the final play of the game.

"I didn't have time to react. He just cut my legs out. I never really had an opportunity to do anything."

In his first start of the year for the Esks after being a back- up to Tyler Ebell for two games, Anderson entered the tilt with a 7.1-yard rushing average.

In the understatement of the year, to be stopped on three crucial short-yardage runs, is frustrating.

"It sucks," continued Anderson.

"Yeah, you would like to think you're the Incredible Hulk and you can bust through and get every yard. But let's be realistic. There are 12 of us out there and unfortunately if one guy makes a great play (on defence) ..."


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