CALGARY — No pressure, right?
After spending the season on the bench, Edmonton Eskimos kicker Derek Schiavone was sent in to kick the longest field goal of his career, 46 yards, to put his team on the board in the Labour Day Classic.
Trailing 7-0, Schiavone’s first of four successful attempts, which came with 10 minutes left in the half, ushered a comeback that saw the Eskimos score 35 unanswered points.
“He’s a great field goal kicker,” said Damon Duval, who took care of all kicking duties in the first eight weeks. “To get us both on the roster and kind of allow me to do what you would call my strongest things, which is kickoffs and punts, and allow Schiv to come in and nail field goals through the pipes, it was great.
“It worked out (Monday) and hopefully we can continue it.”
It was the first time this season that the Eskimos experimented with a kicking tandem. Duval’s 73.7% field goal accuracy was second-worst in the league heading into Labour Day weekend.
“It just alleviates a little bit of the pressure not having to worry about doing all three and you can go out and concentrate, in my case on winning field position with the punts and kickoffs,” said Duval, who averaged 50.9 yards on eight punts with a single and 68.4 yards on five kickoffs with a single in the game.
Schiavone was equally as cool, hitting from 46, 42, 22 and 20 on all of his attempts on his way to scoring 15 of the Eskimos’ 35 points.
“The biggest thing was just sitting there waiting for your first kick,” said Schiavone, who is in his fourth CFL season. “It’s been a while since I kicked in a game so I wanted to go out and get that first one over with. It was smooth sailing from there.
“I’ve never just done one aspect in the game before. People don’t understand how tough it is to do all three, it’s totally different styles of your swing.”