Defending champs Rough up Eskimos

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

REGINA -- The offence couldn't score in the red zone, while the defence couldn't stop Wes Cates or prevent big plays in the second half.

That's the story of another frustrating Edmonton Eskimos loss, this time a 34-13 defeat to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their regular-season opener last night.

Under head coach Danny Maciocia's reign, the Eskimos have won just one opening game in four years.

"We are a better football team than we showed out here," said Maciocia.

"We've just got to fix a few things and line up on Thursday (against Calgary) and get after it."

One thing that needs to be fixed is the sputtering offence in the red zone. With the game still on the line, Edmonton failed to find the end zone on three separate trips inside the 20-yard line.

Noel Prefontaine kicked three field goals to give Edmonton a 10-9 lead early in the second half, but from there, the Rider onslaught started.

Cates -- the player the Eskimos coaching staff spent plenty of time studying this week -- put the Riders back in the lead with a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:59 left in the third quarter to make it 16-10.

That was just the beginning, as the Riders outscored Edmonton 25-3 to end the game.

"We gave up too many runs," said Eskimos linebacker Shannon Garrett.

"The fourth quarter, we are supposed to be strong. We gave up too much."

Saskatchewan had 377 yards of total offence, while Edmonton had 306.


Photos