Special performance

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

CALGARY -- What a difference one month and one road game makes.

After falling on their face in Vancouver - making three mistakes that led to B.C. Lions touchdowns on Aug. 8 - the Edmonton Eskimos special teams unit provided a stellar effort in yesterday's 37-16 Labour Day defeat of the Calgary Stampeders.

Playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Calgary with second-place on the line, the Esks caused two fumbles on Calgary returns.

One of those fumbles - forced by Kenny Onatolu against Calgary punt returner Nate Curry and recovered by Tyler Clutts - led to a Fred Stamps touchdown to make it 26-16 late in the third quarter.

Quick downfield pursuit by Adrian Baird and raw rookie Derrick Doggett - who plastered Joffrey Reynolds less than three minutes later on a Stamps kickoff return - led to the other fumble. Edmonton rookie Chris Ciezki recovered the loose pigskin.

It all led to Calgary's offence being kept off the field at critical points in the game.

"The intensity and focus the guys brought to the coverage units was phenomenal," said Edmonton special teams coach Noel Thorpe.

"We talked about setting an attitude and a tone.

"We talked about who we were. And I think we answered the question about who we are."

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia believes his club is just following through on the tone it tried to set in training camp in June.

"We physically get after people. That all took place in training camp," said the bench boss.

"I know we were criticized on the amount of fights that took place throughout the course of camp but we were trying to build some character.

"Right now, we are taking it to people - week in and week out."

Besides forcing two fumbles, Edmonton's special teams units also stifled Calgary's other returns during the afternoon.

On punts, the Stamps averaged just nine yards per return.

On kickoffs, the hometown crew was kept to a 19-yard average.

FINISH LINES: Edmonton's Kelly Campbell had a fine afternoon pulling double duty returning kickoffs for the Green and Gold. Besides 106 yards receiving, Campbell had three returns for 73 yards yesterday.


Videos

Photos