Esks' weird win woeful

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:44 AM ET

EDMONTON - There’s winning ugly. And then there is winning weird. This was winning weird. It was winning wacky.

Usually when you win weird and wacky, it’s wonderful.

Not this time. It was weird, wacky and mostly woeful.

It was a combination of goofy and ghastly.

In the end it was a 26-25 win over the Toronto Argos, two more points in the standings and a 5-0 record for the first time since 1980. The last time the Eskimos went 6-0 was 50 years ago, in 1951.

“I’m not celebrating this victory,” said offensive lineman Aaron Fiaccone.

“We came out flat. We can’t be celebrating a spitty performance. It was an ugly, ugly win. It was a character win, too. But it was not overall the kind of win to be celebrating.”

It was a game which both teams from start to finish seemed intent upon losing, Toronto turning the ball over four times and Edmonton three with more bizarre bits of business involved than you’d normally see in a month.

Indeed, that was the word Argos coach Jim Barker used after the game.

“That was a bizarre game,” he said.

Last-season form

For the Eskimos, it looked more like last year’s edition than what we’ve been watching this year.

“My wife is going to kick me out of the house tonight for using too many swear words,” predicted Kavis Reed.

“We got the bounces when we needed them. And it was a test for our character. But we committed too many penalties. Too many unsportsmanlike penalties.

“We committed too many turnovers.

“Our tackling was not very good this game. That’s something we have to address. We weren’t very good at tackling.

“Our offensive line made a lot of visual mistakes and communication mistakes.

“They had more pressure on Ricky Ray in one game tonight than he faced in his first four games. We can’t have Ricky Ray on the run like he was tonight. If he has time, he’ll make good decisions. He didn’t have time tonight and he still made them, still made the plays. But we can’t have that.”

Ray was 24 for 34 despite the heat for 261 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions.

The Eskimos in their first four games, had been behind for only 1:34 minutes of play. In this one they led 1-0 for 2:44 and then the Argos made it 17-1 as Edmonton reverted to the form of last season.

The Eskimos hadn’t given up more than a sack a game during their 4-0 start but had given up two by the midway mark of the second quarter and the offensive line had turned into turnstiles with Ray under heavy pressure on almost every play.

The Eskimos couldn’t make a tackle and Ray, while somehow managing to go 14 for 17, didn’t have time to find Fred Stamps.

But Ray found a way to drive the team for 75 yards in eight plays and then — in one of the most bizarre bits of business in the CFL this season — the Argos had to be brought back from the dressing room after they thought they’d held the Eskimos on the one when time ran out at the half.

The officials put 1.5 seconds back on the clock and Kerry Joseph, who failed on second down and goal from the one, managed to get it in.

“I have no comment about anything except for the footbal game. If you want to talk about that, talk to Mr. Cohon,” he said of the man who fined him $1,000 for post game comments last week.

Weirness continues

It was 17-15 Toronto and the Eskimos had more wrong with them in one half than they’d had wrong with them in the first four games.

The weirdness continued early in the third quarter when the Eskimos were third and about two feet and lined up in the shotgun. Ray fumbled the snap and Toronto had the ball in Eskimo territory only to throw it away on the first play. A few minutes later, on the Edmonton 15,

Dalton Bell tossed another interception, this one in the endzone.

Two chances from scoring position and no points.

Weird was the story of the day as Matt Black ran a punt back 81 yards for a touchdown and a 25-16 lead.

Weird continued all the way until the end, when back-up kicker Grant Shaw was sent in to try at 57-yard field goal at the end of the game.

“It was third and five. That kid has made up to 60 yards in practice and has a strong leg,” said Barker.

“He had butchered some punts and I had a gut feeling that he was going to make the kick.

“It’s on me. It was my call.”


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