Eskimos stink out the joint

Lions defensive end Brent Johnson sacks Eskimos quarterback Kerry Joseph Friday at Commonwealth...

Lions defensive end Brent Johnson sacks Eskimos quarterback Kerry Joseph Friday at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

EDMONTON - One piddly point. A ruddy rouge.

They lost 36-1 to the B.C. Lions Friday night.

Thirty-three to one!

The Edmonton Eskimos had never been shutout in Commonwealth Stadium and you had to go all the way back to Oct. 9, 1978, in their third game in the big park, to find the previous low total in a 15-3 loss to the same B.C. Lions.

They gave up eight sacks. Eight!

Edmonton had 111 yards in penalties and only 38 yards rushing. The net offence ended up at 462 yards to 180.

It was one of the most pathetic, putrid performances inflicted on the paying public in this down town since the wheels fell off both the Eskimos and Oilers five years ago.

Going into the game it was declared by G.M. Eric Tillman to be “gut check time.”

A crowd of 35,216 checked. No guts.

It was a gutless gory game by the Eskimos who were challenged by head coach Kavis Reed to execute from the beginning in this one and didn't show up.

“Embarrassing,” said their third straight loss following a 5-0 start to the season.

“We didn't do a good job executing in in every way shape and form from start to finish,” said Reed.

It's one thing to get your helmets handed to you on a two game Eastern road trip but to lose 36-1 at home to a team which had managed only one win – and that against the Saskatchewan Roughriders who fired head coach Greg Marshall Friday – that's something else.

What the heck has happened here? The Eskimos went 0-for-August for the first time since 1969.

The team which had won their last six home games, three last year and three this year, finally lost their first in Commonwealth Stadium since Tillman took over as G.M. last season.

All the wheels have fallen off again.

The Eskimos, who managed to score two points in the second half in Winnipeg, put four up against Montreal and only one against the Lions. Thats seven points in their last 150 minutes of football.

“I'm as frustrated as I can possibly be,” said Ray, who gave way to Kerry Joseph to mop it up after completing 11 of 19 passes for a miniscule 81 yards with, obviously, no touchdowns and the three interceptions.

By the second minute of the second half, Ray had been sacked for the fourth time in the game and that made it 14 sacks against since they gave up only half as many – 7 – in the first five games.

It ended up as 18 sacks in the last three games with the eight sack on the night.

Eight is enough, said Reed.

“The offensive line is something I personally have to look at very seriously and closely during the bye week. I can't sugar coat it,” he said.

Reed said he pulled Ricky Ray for his own safety in the third quarter after he was sacked for the fourth time and was pressured into serving up his third interception.

“The offensive line is something I personally have to look at very seriously and closely during the bye week. I can't sugar coat it,” he said.

Reed said he pulled Ricky Ray for his own safety in the third quarter after he was sacked for the fourth time and was pressured into serving up his third interception.

The before and after numbers for the Eskimos as they've gone from a 5-0 team out of the gate to a 0-3 team in the interim, now must qualify as the most fascinating figures in football.

The Eskimos rushed for 614 yards in the first five games and 87 against Winnipeg and minus one against Montreal. Last night they managed only 59.

The Eskimos only turned the ball over five times in the first five games.

With five turnovers Friday, they've now given it away 13 times in the last three.

It was Purolator “Tackle Hunger” night and Edmonton did a terrific job of that, but couldn't tackle anything else. They set a Food Bank record of 109,338 pounds. Plus those eight sacks in which Purolator adds the weight of the sacked quarterback for each of those.

To put the eight sacks in perspective, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats only have up seven in the entire 1999 season. The Eskimos team record is 11, given up against Calgary in 1986.

“I never played a game like this in my life,” said offensive lineman Kyle Koch. “Everytime I turned around we were getting beat by somebody and something else was going wrong, especially up front.”

The Eskimos don't perform in public again until Labour Day in Calgary. And Reed isn't going to punish them and take their time off away from them.

“I have to work harder,” he said.

“I can't put this on the players. A team comes out that flat, I have to put it on the coach, not on the players.”

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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