Reed pleased with Esks first outing

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:33 AM ET

 The results are in.

 

Much more than the score, Friday’s 23-22 loss by the Edmonton Eskimos at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders provided both clubs with some valuable game footage to measure players heading into the final week of training camp.

While the Eskimos coaching staff spent the majority of Saturday breaking down film from the road game, head coach Kavis Reed said he was pleased with his first impressions.

“We had the opportunity to play in adverse situations and the kicking game is going to be most affected by it,” said Reed, who watched incumbent kicker Derek Schiavone miss two of three field-goal attempts, including a 55-yarder that decided the game on the final play.

Of course, the 80 kmh wind, joined by sheets of rain in the fourth quarter had a lot to do with it.

“We made some good plays, we didn’t do some things well but, overall, those guys I thought did a good job handling the situation on the special-teams side of the ball,” said Reed.

Punt coverage broke down early on, allowing Hugh Charles to run a 35-yard punt by Damon Duval back 70 yards for a touchdown in the opening quarter. But things were sewn up from then on.

Kerry Joseph got the start for the Eskimos with a tough into-the-wind quarter that saw him complete just three of nine pass attempts. He did, however, end off by moving the offence 57 yards on eight plays for Edmonton’s first score of the game — a six-yard touchdown run by Calvin McCarty.

“His leadership out there when he was not in the game came to the forefront,” Reed said of Joseph.

Matt Nichols came up with an eight-play drive of his own, which covered 75 yards and ended on a six-yard touchdown pass to rookie Youssy Pierre.

He completed six of 10 for 53 yards and the Eskimos’ lone touchdown pass of the game.

Newcomer Eric Ward covered the most ground, completing six of eight attempts for 77 yards.

“It was exciting. I didn’t really know what to expect in my first game. You’ve definitely got to adapt fast,” said Ward, who got in for the final two series. “I had an opportunity to score on that first drive. I missed one of my guys who was wide open on that pass on second down, I wish I could have that one back.

“It’s just something to learn from. We’ll watch the film and I’ll just continue to get better.”

Defensively, the Eskimos allowed 79 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries by six different Roughriders, along with 196 yards and a TD through the air.

“We made some plays, we made some stops there, but we’ve got to improve some things,” said Reed. “We definitely have to improve our run defence, we have to understand situations a little bit better, but overall, I thought the guys flew around, they made some plays and they gave us the ball back for an opportunity to win the game.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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