Fundamentals pay off for Esks


, Last Updated: 7:30 PM ET

Discipline was the key.

The Edmonton Eskimos cut down on penalty yardage Sunday, forcing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to try and beat them on a level playing field.

The Eskimos only gave up 40 yards on four calls against them, far less than the 107 yards they gave to the opposition on average in each of their previous games this year.

Its just taking care of the little things, said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall, whose squad is the sixth-worst when it comes to penalty yardage.

But on Sunday, they surrendered half the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 80 penalty yards.

Being fundamentally sound, catching the ball, blocking. Nothing fancy, its just doing our job at a high level.

Its nice to see our football team offensively, defensively and special teams coming together and being able to play as a group because weve been up and down. Now, to be able to do it week in and week out, thats what weve got to be able to do.

The Eskimos are only beginning to realize the confidence that comes with winning, something theyve only been able to do twice in the first half, but now find themselves coming off of two in a row.

To me, weve been a different football team ever since we came back from the (bye-week) break, Hall said. Sometimes its translated into wins, sometimes it hasnt. But I just think that were growing closer together and becoming a better team in the locker-room and its starting to transpire out on the field.

WHAT PRESENCE? Happy belated birthday to Hall, who celebrated he big five-oh on Monday by not only going on his first winning streak of the season, but also successfully having it go under the radar at Commonwealth Stadium. After all, there would have been an entire roster worth of players willing to give him the birthday bumps.

They had the day off, Hall smiled. The least of them that know, the better.