Esks Win! Esks Win!

There were 32,281 fans in attendance tonight at Commonwealth, including a healthy contingent of Canada’s finest as it was the Eskimos salute to the military. Not sure how many were left when the final gun sounded as the clouds opened up and poured down on the Esks faithful. It’s tough being an Esks fan sometimes as we seem to always get rained on, and the team has been in the habit of not making the effort worth it in the end. It was nice for those who stuck it out to finally get rewarded for their dedication and support to the Green Gold.

Speaking of the rain, no one that I talked to could ever remember the power going out at Commonwealth like it did. The thunder and lighting show caused a 37 minute delay and probably couldn’t have come at a better time for the Green & Gold. At that point in time, the Esks were down 10-6 and things were not looking promising. A little impromptu halftime later and the Esks were able to come back to the field and start making some positive progress. It was pretty neat to see everyone out of the bleachers and huddled under cover. Definitely a first. Sorry about the picture quality, but you get the idea.

Game Notes

  • A big question prior to the game was how the new additions would affect the roster. Jeremy Parquet, Adam Braidwood, and Roderick Williams were all inserted into the starting lineup and all three made a positive impact.
  • Jason Goss, Skyler Green, Derek Schiavone, and Andre Coleman were the reserve players for the game and did not dress. Taking Goss out of the lineup marked the complete overhaul of the defensive secondary from last year.
  • With Skyler Green still on the sidelines, Jamaica Rector continued to return the bulk of the punts. He averaged 9.7 yards per return, and considering how many times the punts were kicked close to the sidelines, he did a pretty good job to get that average. Makes one wonder if Skyler Green is expendable?
  • In the first quarter, the Esks were dedicated to sticking with the run, almost to a fault, as they managed to only pick up one first down in the opening frame. The result was only 34 passing yards in the first quarter.
  • Interesting stat passed along by a fellow fan. The field goal by Noel Prefontaine on the Esks opening drive is the first time the Esks have managed to get points on their opening possession this year.
  • In the second quarter, the Esks opened up with a couple of nice passing plays, with Ray connecting to Andrew Nowacki for 20 yards followed by Andre Talbot for 25 yards. All of sudden people were talking about how the Esks look like they remembered that they have these guys.
  • Return to form. From the nine yard line Ricky Ray throws a jump ball to Kelly Campbell in the back of the endzone. Just a question. Why throw the jump ball to the five-foot-ten Campbell instead of the six-foot-three Jason Barnes?
  • Okay so it works some of the time as Campbell demonstrated in the third quarter although the Esks slotback had much better separation on that play.
  • Fourth quarter starts and cue the meltdown. Ricky Ray picked off for a touchdown return and then the Esks special teams allow a kickoff return to go all the way to the house. Looks like it was be nice to Davis night (Davis Sanchez and Yonus Davis getting the scores).
  • So the Esks move down the field with a chance to win. Now first and goal usually means a Prefontaine field goal, but Andre Talbot ran an absolutely brilliant route to get wide open in the endzone for a pretty easy touchdown.

The Playmakers

The defense was fantastic tonight with the exception of one or two plays. Chris Thompson recorded two more interceptions to get to five on the season while Kenneth Pettway was disruptive all night long. Two sacks and two forced fumbles represent a pretty decent night, and what didn’t show up on the stats sheet was his ability to constantly get into the Lions backfield and create pressure throughout the game.

The Newbies

During the first quarter I took the time to watch Jeremy Parquet and Adam Braidwood specifically. Parquet was exactly as advertised. Big, strong, mean, road grader. Whatever name you want to use. The Esks need to find a way to keep him in the lineup. As for Braidwood, he only recorded two tackles, but looked like he was playing on pure adrenalin. His motor was stuck in overdrive despite the fact that he was only really playing on first down for most of the game.

The Win

One can keep going on about stats, players and other topics regarding the game, but for now, let’s just enjoy this first win.

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