EDMONTON - With the game on the line, Cary Koch is emerging as the Edmonton Eskimos go-to receiver.
The third-year CFLer may be in his first year with his Green and Gold teammates, but his jersey also has a target painted on it as far as quarterback Steven Jyles has been concerned.
Not only did the former Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback catch Jyles’s second passing touchdown of the season in the first half of Thursday’s game, but Koch was the one being counted on more than anyone else during the dying-second drive when Edmonton’s offence needed to move the ball.
He only had two receptions for 38 yards, but they were both key.
The first one was a 25-yard connection into the end zone to take a 14-4 lead in the second quarter before adding a 13-yard reception to keep the final drive alive, prior to Jyles’s game-ending fumble.
But before he caught that ball, Jyles looked at him twice in a row with a pair of incompletions before switching things up and finding Nate Coehoorn on third-and-10.
“We’re coming together as a team and we showed signs even in the end there,” said Koch, who is fifth in Eskimos receiving yards so far this season with 138, but leads with two touchdowns. “We’re down, we’re away, it’s loud, you can’t hear anything.
“We got down in field-goal range and you’ve got to respect the game. It’s just the way that the cookie crumbles.”
Or fumbles, as it were.
But one thing’s for sure, and that’s Koch’s hands when the Eskimos need to get the ball into them.
“That speaks highly of what the coaches think of me and what Steven thinks of me,” said Koch, who, like Jyles, hails from Louisiana. “I think we’re definitely getting some chemistry and we’re just taking this as another building block and a step forward.