EDMONTON - Kavis Reed may have given up at least 100 pounds to each of the combatants involved in a midfield scrum at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday, but you couldn’t have asked for a better peacemaker.
The Edmonton Eskimos head coach and former Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive co-ordinator still has pull with his former players, as both sides backed down as soon as he waded into the pile once fisticuffs broke out between Edmonton’s defensive line and the Bombers O-liners late in the third quarter.
“I haven’t seen the film, obviously, to know exactly what went on so that one I don’t want to speculate on,” Reed said. “I’m just disappointed we got involved in something like that because we have helmets on, we have protective gear and if someone does throw a punch or does something cheap to you, you don’t have to retaliate.”
Four players were ejected, including Eskimos defensive ends Marcus Howard and Julius Williams, as well as Bombers left tackle Glenn January and a player-to-be-named.
Officials initially singled out Bombers offensive lineman Chris Kowalczuk, who was scratched prior to the game.
But it will get sorted out once the CFL hands out some inevitable fines this week for the infractions, which totalled 65 yards per team and occurred at a point in the game where Edmonton led 35-0.
Afterward, the Eskimos put together a makeshift roster on defence that saw eight backups play out the rest of the game.
Justin Palardy put Winnipeg on the board for the first time with a 46-yard field goal once play finally resumed.
But after the game, Reed held a huddle at midfield with a host of players from both sides.
“I worked with those guys and have tremendous respect for that football team and that organization,” Reed said. “I’m always going to show respect and appreciation.”