D-line comes together

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive line seems to have a knack for stepping up when somebody goes down.

Example No. 2 in this season came last night when the Green and Gold kept ultra-talented Saskatchewan tailback Wes Cates to just 77 rushing yards.

If you remove Cates's 17-yard ramble on the second last play of the game in garbage time in the Esks 27-10 victory, Cates was held to 60 yards on 13 attempts.

This all happened with Edmonton playing without standout rookie defensive tackle Jim Davis, who was scratched before kickoff with an upper body injury.

"We got a good group of guys. We all like each other. We all enjoying playing with each other. And that is what it takes," said defensive tackle Dario Romero.

"We have got depth on the D-line. Good job on the organization to bring some depth in."

With Davis on the sidelines, rookie Joe Anoai got his first start last night with Clinton Wayne also getting some snaps after just being signed this week.

It was a similar script in Hamilton on July 25 when the D-line stepped up in the absence of Fred Perry, who broke his leg the game before.

Edmonton had eight sacks in Hamilton on that hot night.

On a chilly, windy night at Commonwealth yesterday it was the run-stopping ability that brought the headlines.

Cates entered the game as the league's second-leading rusher with an average per-game total of 93 yards on the ground.

Marshall plan: Greg Marshall couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive co-ordinator scouted last night's Edmonton Eskimos-Saskatchewan Roughriders tilt from the comfy conditions of the Commonwealth Stadium press box.

"I still have my home in Edmonton," said Marshall.

"And we play Saskatchewan in the next two weeks."

Once the Bombers are done with their traditional Labour Day series with Saskatchewan, the Eskimos will play Winnipeg in back-to-back games.

The Bombers are enjoying their bye week right now.

FINISH LINES: Siddeeq Shabazz appeared at safety to start last night's game for the Eskimos, ending the speculation on the latest secondary shuffle. Kenny Onatolu received his first start of the year, filling in for Shabazz at outside linebacker.


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