Eskimos built momentum

Punter, an Eskimos mascot, abuses a stuffed horse during theCFL's West semifinals at Commonwealth...

Punter, an Eskimos mascot, abuses a stuffed horse during theCFL's West semifinals at Commonwealth Stadium Sunday. Tom Braid, Edmonton Sun

Con Griwkowsky, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 PM ET

EDMONTON - Would have been tough to match the overtime thriller the Tabbies won in the CFL East final.

As it turns out, this one got out of the blocks about as quickly as most games at Commonwealth in the last half of the season.

Eskimos defence clamps down, waiting for the offence to get going.

Eskimos offence gets its first first down six minutes in, first of two back-to-back first down catches for Adarius Bowman. That’s followed by a Jason Barnes first down before the customary early field goal.

Game smartened up considerably as it wore on.

Whatta tackle

T.J. Hill picks off a Drew Tate pass intended for John Forzani and scampers down the right side of the field.

Could have made it a lot further if it wasn’t for that pesky Calgary quarterback. Tate makes a great tackle, chopping Hill’s legs from right under him.

Sack attack

Stampeders take an early 3-0 lead on sacks before the half is done.

Calgary’s defensive back Eric Fraser starts off the festivities.

Brian Bulcke scores one for the defensive line as Ricky Ray takes way too long to get rid of the ball. Same story on the following play as DB Demetrice Morley hauls down the Eskimos QB.

Not bad for a team that had a league-low 27 sacks coming into this tilt.

Eskimos crawl back into the sack game when Etienne Legare drops Tate.

Greg Peach gets Edmonton to within one early in the fourth quarter, then one more with a minute to go.

The guy can run

Ray takes off on a 14-yard scamper late in the half.

Ends up with 31 yards on three runs.

Sure beats sitting in the pocket and waiting for the other guys to smoke you.

Good hands

Calgary receiver Nik Lewis drops the ball after a jarring tackle that appears to hurt the knee on his planted foot.

Teammate Romby Bryant one-hands the ball on one bounce and swings it out of danger over the sidelines marker.

Lewis shakes off the huge hit and is back the next series.

Bad hands

Tate drops one for no apparent reason, Damaso Munoz picks it up for a 77-yard TD.

Ray bobbles the ball, jumps on it for a five-yard loss.

That’s the way the ball bounces.

Got it

Edmonton punt returner Jason Armstead makes a slick move to block a ball that hit the ground and took a wacky bounce.

Armstead makes a quick reaction to get in front of the ball, then gets a seven-yard return before he gets dropped.

Submarined

Edmonton running back Jerome Messam catches a ball, but doesn’t get far as Morley chops his legs out from under him.

Messam, who’s been trying to keep up with Calgary’s Canadian running back counterpart, hobbles off the field.

Spends the rest of the game sitting by the Gatorade containers or pacing along the sidelines.

Puttin’ the foot back ...

Scoring starts out with a 59-yard punt single by Calgary’s Burke Dales and it’s a sign of things to come.

Dales finishes the game with three punt singles, Edmonton’s Damon Duval adds a pair.

Question being ... who got the second assist on Dale’s third single?

Henry in relief

Henry Burris checks in for the second half after Tate throws for 99 yards in the first half.

The former long-time Stampeders starter adds just 75 yards through the air in his first appearance for the Stampeders in four weeks.

For starters

A bugler plays the Remembrance Day hymns.

An RCMP officer sings the national anthem.

The crowd rises again when members of the Grande Prairie Warriors football team are introduced.

Invisible fans

What a difference a couple of months make.

The last time these teams played, a total of 45,672 people showed up for the Labour Day Rematch game — biggest mob of the season.

Sunday, a pleasant enough day for football with the temperatures slightly above freezing?

Must have been a lot of fans disguised as empty seats.

Only 30,183 bothered to show up for the first playoff game held at Commonwealth Stadium since 2004.

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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