Positively possessed

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

EDMONTON - It is no coincidence that when the Edmonton Eskimos finally won the turnover battle for the first time last Friday, they also won their first game of the season.

Sitting last in the league at minus-9 in giveaways/take-aways heading into last week, the Eskimos finally made it on the positive side, going plus-1 in a 28-25 win over the B.C. Lions.

“That’s been our detriment, we’ve beaten ourselves in turning over the football,” said head coach Richie Hall.

“The majority of the time, the team that wins the turnover battle is going to be successful. We had a couple turnovers, both of them cost us 14 points.”

Ahead 18-10, the Eskimos also turned the ball over on downs with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter after the Lions came up with a goal-line stand.

Ricky Ray opened the fourth quarter by throwing an interception that Lions cornerback Davis Sanchez returned 54 yards for a touchdown to trail by one point.

“But we were able to overcome that obstacle and we had some turnovers ourselves that we forced,” said Hall.

Eskimos defensive back Chris Thompson was back to his old tricks, earning his league-leading fourth and fifth interceptions of the season on Lions backup quarterback Travis Lulay.

“They were big,” Thompson said.

“They came at a time when we needed a big play and Lulay made a couple of mistakes.

“The first one was a tip ball and I was able to catch it. The second one, he just got out of the pocket and made a bad read. We really needed those plays at that time.”

Thompson had the best year of his career in 2008 when he led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with nine interceptions before seeing quarterbacks throw away from him last season.

This year, he is on pace for 18 on the season, averaging one per game.

“I’m off to a fast start right now, so we’ll see if it continues,” Thompson said.

In and out

DT Dario Romero sat out of Monday’s drills, while KR Skyler Green (leg) returned to limited action for the first time since Week 2. KR Tristan Jackson also saw limited participation since being placed on the nine-game injured list in the preseason. His status, however, would not allow him to return to the lineup before the second half of the season.

After seeing half a dozen players go down in Week 4 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Eskimos made it through last week’s game without any significant injury.

“We were pretty much unscathed,” Hall said.

“We had our regular nicks and bumps and those are always going to occur but as far as blatant injuries that have occurred early in the season, we feel very good about our injury situation.

“If we can stay pretty unscathed injury-wise until our bye week when all of a sudden the guys get two weeks off, that’s going to be real beneficial for us.”

The Eskimos bye week runs from Aug. 16-23.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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