Esks playoff hopes alive

Edmonton Eskimos Fred Stamps makes a catch in front of BC Lions Tad Crawford during their CFL...

Edmonton Eskimos Fred Stamps makes a catch in front of BC Lions Tad Crawford during their CFL football game in Vancouver, British Columbia, October 16, 2010. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford

GERRY MODDEJONGE, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

EDMONTON - VANCOUVER Ė Ricky Ray and Daniel Porter rushed for over 130 yards each to propel the Edmonton Eskimos to a 31-28 overtime win over the B.C. Lions Saturday.

With their playoff hopes on the line, Lions kicker Sean Whyte hit a 48-yard field goal to tie the game 25-25 at the end of regulation and force an extra session.

He hit again from 17 yards out in overtime before the Eskimos responded with a QB keeper by Ray, which was set up by a pass interference call on his first throw since the first minute of the fourth quarter.

The victory, coming in front of 21,414 dejected fans at Empire Field, gives the Eskimos the season series, third place in the West Division and the edge in any potential playoff tiebreaker, but it didnít come cheap.

Eskimos receiver Kamau Peterson re-ruptured an Achilles that saw him miss most of the season, while Lions safety and former Eskimo J.R. LaRose broke the same leg that almost cost him his career three seasons ago. Eskimos slotback Kelly Campbell also left in the first half with a concussion.

A sack by defensive tackle Dario Romero led to the Lions conceding a safety to put the Eskimos ahead 22-15 to open the fourth quarter.

Their offence took over, chewing up nearly six-and-a-half minutes with 11 rushes, ending in a 17-yard field goal by new primary kicker, Derek Schiavone, to push their lead to 10.

Facing second-and-30, Lions quarterback Travis Lulay hit Geroy Simon 38 yards downfield to set up a goalline plunge by running back Jamal Robertson to trail 25-22 with a minute-and-a-half remaining in regulation.

A 28-yard reception by Eskimos slotback Fred Stamps set up a 10-play, 79-yard drive that fullback Mathieu Bertrand punched into the end zone from one yard out to score the only points of the third quarter and take a 20-15 lead.

The Eskimos took a 10-7 lead to open the second quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Schiavone.

Then Lions receiver Emmanuel Arcenaux leapt above double coverage to haul down a 36-yard pass that set up a seven-yard touchdown reception by Steve Black, as the Lions took their first lead of the game, 14-10.

The Lions got the ball back again after safety David Hyland tombstoned Kelly Campbell, forcing a fumble in the dying seconds of the half, allowing Sean White to add a punt single to lead by five.

A pair of runs for 36-yards by Porter put Schiavone in range for a 45-yard field goal to trail 15-13.

On their opening drive, Ray ran for 45 yards on a fake handoff that saw him get a third of the way before the defence knew he had the ball. On the next play, Stamps caught a 26-yard pass that pushed him over 1,000 in consecutive seasons, before adding nine more yards on a touchdown reception to put the Eskimos up 7-0 midway through the first.

After a 2-1 stop by defensive end Greg Peach, the Eskimos gave the ball right back after Tristan Jackson fumbled the punt return away to Jason Arakgi.

The Lions responded with a 30-yard drive that ended with a one-yard sweep into the end zone by running back Yonus Davis to tie the game 7-7.

Rayís previous rushing high was 81 yards on eight rushes against the Calgary Stampeders in 2006.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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