Esks had answers in win

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Offensively, it was an impressive comeback.

But it was only made possible by an equally good defensive performance.

Down 14 points in the third quarter, the Edmonton Eskimos were able to keep the B.C. Lions off the board for the remainder of the game, in a 35-24 victory on Thursday. The two teams meet again Friday in Vancouver.

"We just took a few throws away in the second half that we felt we needed to take away," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "They were working us pretty good to the short side of the field in that first half and we felt that we needed an answer for it.

"At half time, we talked about it, we addressed it, cleaned up a few things that we were disappointed with in the first half, and we were able to execute the adjustments we made at halftime."

10-POINT LEAD

The Lions scored 20 points in the first half to take a 10-point lead into the break.

They went on to score the first four points of the second half to seemingly take control of the contest.

After that, however, the Eskimos secondary stepped up and shut down the Lions passing game.

"We basically stuck with what our plan was and came out with a little more tenacity and little more focus," said Eskimos defensive halfback Jonte Buhl.

"We were able to finish the jobs that we weren't able to do in the first half. I don't think we changed the play-calling or anything like that, it was more about execution."

The Lions threw the ball for 175 yards in the first half.

THEY LOVED PARIS

Paris Jackson was their main target, catching four passes for 62 yards which included a touchdown reception.

In the second half, Jackson was limited to one catch for five yards as the Lions threw for just 71 yards in the final two quarters.

"We looked at the mistakes we made in the first half and the things that they were doing and pretty much played our same defence in the second half," said Eskimos safety Jason Goss. "But we were more aggressive to the ball and were able to make more plays on the ball. That was the only thing that was different."

One of the biggest plays of the game proved to be an interception by cornerback Bradley Robinson in the third quarter.

Robinson had the ball thrown right to him by Lions quarterback Jarious Jackson, who was expecting his receiver to run a different pass pattern.

The Eskimos went on to score three plays later cutting the deficit to a touchdown.

They tied the game on the next possession.

"We came in regrouped, went out there and tried not to make as many mistakes and give up big plays," said linebacker Trey Young. "We came out as a whole group and showed what we were capable of doing. I think in the first half we made some errors that in the second half we cleaned up and limited in the second half.

"They couldn't get anything going in the second half. They kept trying to go to Paris Jackson in the second half, but he was only able to get one ball. Our defence played well."

The Eskimos benefited by not having the Lions best receiver, Geroy Simon, in the lineup on Thursday. He's expected to be back for the return encounter.

"I've been playing in this league for four years now and I know that Geroy Simon has been the man out there for those four years," Young said. "I know they're going to try to get him out on the field as much as they can and try to get them going."


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