After a mixed bag of games on the CFL’s Canada Day Kickoff, we had a playoffs rematch again on Thursday night. The Eskimos beat out Toronto to get a cross-over playoff spot in the East. The sent them to Winnipeg where they squeezed out a win against the Blue Bombers. Could the Bombers return the favour in Edmonton or would the Eskimos be the first home team to win a game in 2009?
Winnipeg 17 @ Edmonton 19 – It wasn’t a terribly pretty game but it was a win for the Eskimos. Unfortunately for them, they lost their starting running back Jesse Lumsden to a shoulder injury in the first quarter.
The game started very slowly with neither team scoring in the first quarter. Both teams got their first points when the other team’s punter conceded a safety with less than five minutes left in the first half. It would be the Esks that got the first major of game. With less than a minute to go in the second quarter, Ricky Ray tossed one to Andrew Nowaki from 19 yards out for the score. With the convert, Edmonton took a 9-2 lead at the half.
The Bombers got back into the game with a touchdown mid-way through the third quarter. Tristan Jackson fumbled on a punt return which was recovered by Shawn Gallant who rumbled home for the major. It didn’t take very long for the Eskies to answer back. Ricky Ray capped off a four play drive with a one yard run for the touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Noel Prefontaine made his first field goal of the game booting it 19 yards through the rain. The Bombers answered back 76 seconds later on a 16 yard run by Fred Reid. With time ticking away, the Bombers mounted one last charge to get a game-tying field goal. Alex Serna powered the ball through uprights from a distance of 47 yards but the kick was disallowed because of an Edmonton timeout to freeze Serna. The tactic paid off because he hooked his next attempt wide to the left as time expired to give the win to Edmonton.
Ricky Ray led the way for Edmonton going 29/41 with 318 yds. His counterpart wearing gold and blue wasn’t as good. Stefan LeFors went 14/31 for 174 yds in the heavy rain at Commonwealth Stadium. Maurice Lloyd and Bobby Keyes led the Eskies defence with eight tackles each.
Offensive Player of the Night: Ricky Ray (EDM) – 29/41, 318 Yds., 1 TD pass, 1 TD rush
Defensive Player of the Night: Joe Lobendahn (WPG) – 5 Tkls., 1 FF
BC Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders