Earlier win gives Esks confidence

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:12 PM ET

EDMONTON - Traditionally, the Labour Day Classic is the first opportunity the Edmonton Eskimos get to see Calgary.

But having travelled to face the Calgary Stampeders once already this season, and managing to come out of McMahon Stadium with the win, Monday’s task doesn’t appear as daunting.

“You can take something from that last game,” said Eskimos running back Calvin McCarty. “It’s confidence — we’ve gone in there and won before. We didn’t play the best game that we could have played, but we were still able to pull it out.

“But things are different and that’s a different Calgary team than we faced earlier this year. Especially having a young team, though, it does give us some confidence going in there, knowing that we had won in there before.”

The Eskimos went into Calgary in Week 4 of the CFL season and managed to come out with an impressive 24-19 victory.

At the time the win gave the Eskimos a 4-0 record and sole possession of top spot in the Western Conference.

Since then, they’ve only managed to win one of their next four games and are now looking up at the Stampeders in the standings.

“That first win was huge for confidence,” said Eskimos fullback Jerome Messam. “It’s good to know that we can go in there and win. Before that game it had been a while since we had gone in there and won, so it was big for us.”

Calgary heads into the contest having won four straight. The team picked to finish top in the West this season is starting to play up to its billing.

The Eskimos, who have lost three straight, have the daunting task of facing them twice in five days.

“We know we have the back-to-back against Calgary, that’s tradition,” McCarty said. “But we’re not trying to look too far beyond that. That’s the kind of game this is, you can’t overlook anybody and you can’t look too far ahead. You just have to stay focused and try to be 1-0 this week.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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